Why Do We Need Technology?

Technology provides a buffer that protects vulnerable humans from the environment. The use of technology is so characteristic of human beings that paleoanthropologists have classified human ancestors by the tools that were found in association with their remains. Technology, such as clothing, fire-igniting tools and stone tools, have kept humans warm, safe and well fed for millions of years.

The development of technology of ever-increasing complexity opens new vistas for human capabilities. It would be difficult for humans to live in very cold or hot environments without technology. Food supplies would be restricted to what a person could catch with bare hands without agriculture, hunting weapons and some mechanism, such as a basket or a wheelbarrow, to carry supplies.

Sophisticated technology provides a safe, comfortable and well-nourished life for billions of human beings. Advanced technology, such as the Haber process, produces fertilizer on an industrial scale that permits much of the world to feed itself. Complex optics expand human horizons with scientific discoveries that would not have been possible without telescopes or microscopes. Some people even require advanced technology, such as a pacemaker or a respirator, simply to stay alive and healthy. Technology, humanity’s oldest survival trick, has altered the world out of recognition since the dawn of man.