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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Would the new world have developed space travel if the old world never arrived?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (17704points) October 11th, 2016

Native Americans and Southern American Incas.

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4 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Well it probably wouldn’t have been developed in what is now North America. And most likely not in the current European Union either.

Space travel was first developed in Russia.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Doubtful. People in the Americas were still using bronze age technologies when Europeans arrived.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

This is actually a very good question. The vast amounts of gold, silver and a plethora of other valuable materials shipped back to Europe fueled rapid expansion into the Americas, an explosion in international commerce and caused so much international stress due to competition and shifts in power that new ways of thinking, doing business and governance became necessary.

This wealth was ultimately responsible for expanding knowledge through a well funded European university system, broadening education just enough to finally end the last remnants of feudalism soon brought us into the age of enlightenment, the industrial revolution, the emergence of the middle classes and the democratic institutions it produced and the great sharing of information that eventually made space travel possible.

It would have taken a lot longer if not for the gifts of the New World.

LostInParadise's avatar

In the book Uncommon Sense, Alan Cromer makes the argument that, although the Agricultural Revolution independently took place in many parts of the globe, including the New World, the idea of science occurred in one place and at one time – among the ancient Greeks. I am not so sure that the Enlightenment would not have occurred without the influence of the ancient Greeks, but Cromer makes some good points about the unnaturalness of scientific thinking. We are born animists. Young children have no problems with talking animals.

Cromer argues that Greek democracy may have been a crucial factor in both the scientific view and in the concept of a formal mathematical proof, which the Greeks also pioneered. When you want to get people to vote a certain way, you need to use convincing arguments, so it is not that much of a stretch to see how this could have led to a more objective view of the universe.

I have read that at the time of the European discovery of the New World, that the Iroquois were poised to take over a large part of North America. Since the Iroquois also had a democratic government, perhaps they would have eventually come up with a scientific viewpoint.

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