All of the suggestions thus far are really great. I would also consider Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which was a staggering achievement...
..if we want to talk about the things that really changed the world and made us into the creatures we are today, I would offer the following as being the most fundamental:
-- The mastery of fire and the use of it to cook food and keep us warm
-- The invention of the fish-hook, especially the version with the barb (some of the earliest recorded fish hooks were from Palestine about 7000 BC)
-- The invention of stone blades (knives, axes, and spear heads)
-- The invention of the bow and arrow
-- I don't know if I would class spoken language as an "invention" -- but certainly written language has to count.
-- MUSIC!!! From multiple people banging on things together to whistles and flutes to stringed instruments and song.
-- ART!!! Whenever I see pictures of stone-age cave paintings and Australian Aboriginal paintings I am rendered speechless (and it's not often you'll hear that).
-- BEER!!! I can't help it. Alcohol in general, and beer in particular, certainly makes me happier and my life better (check out by recent blog http://bit.ly/ns2XHe)
The above suggestions are just off the top of my head -- I could waffle on for hours about this (or most things, come to think about it)
Thank goodness it's Friday :-)
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.