general term for the processes by which human beings fashion tools and machines to increase their control and understanding of the material environment. The term is derived from the Greek words tekhnf, which refers to an art or craft, and logia, meaning an area of study; thus, technology means, literally, the study, or science, of crafting.

Many historians of science argue not only that technology is an essential condition of advanced, industrial civilization but also that the rate of technological change has developed its own momentum in recent centuries. Innovations now seem to appear at a rate that increases geometrically, without respect to geographical limits or political systems. These innovations tend to transform traditional cultural systems, frequently with unexpected social consequences. Thus technology can be conceived as both a creative and a destructive process.


The meanings of the terms science and technology have changed significantly from one generation to another. More similarities than differences, however, can be found between the terms.

Both science and technology imply a thinking process, both are concerned with causal relationships in the material world, and both employ an experimental methodology that results in empirical demonstrations that can be verified by repetition (see SCIENTIFIC METHOD,). Science, at least in theory, is less concerned with the practicality of its results and more concerned with the development of general laws, but in practice science and technology are inextricably involved with each other. The varying interplay of the two can be observed in the historical development of such practitioners as chemists, engineers, physicists, astronomers, carpenters, potters, and many other specialists. Differing educational requirements, social status, vocabulary, methodology, and types of rewards, as well as institutional objectives and professional goals, contribute to such distinctions as can be made between the activities of scientists and technologists; but throughout history the practitioners of “pure” science have made many practical as well as theoretical contributions.

Indeed, the concept that science provides the ideas for technological innovations and that pure research is therefore essential for any significant advancement in industrial civilization is essentially a myth. Most of the greatest changes in industrial civilization cannot be traced to the laboratory. Fundamental tools and processes in the fields of MECHANICS,, CHEMISTRY,, ASTRONOMY,, METALLURGY,, and HYDRAULICS, (qq.v.) were developed before the laws governing their functions were discovered. The STEAM ENGINE, (q.v.), for example, was commonplace before the science of THERMODYNAMICS, (q.v.) elucidated the physical principles underlying its operations.

In recent years a sharp value distinction has grown up between science and technology. Advances in science have frequently had their bitter opponents, but today many people have come to fear technology much more than science. For these people, science may be perceived as a serene, objective source for understanding the eternal laws of nature, whereas the practical manifestations of technology in the modern world now seem to them to be out of control.


Technology has been a dialectical and cumulative process at the center of human experience. It is perhaps best understood in a historical context that traces the evolution of early humans from a period of very simple tools to the complex, large-scale networks that influence most of contemporary human life. For the sake of simplicity, the following account focuses primarily on developments in the Western world, but major contributions from other cultures are also indicated.

Early Technology.

The earliest known human artifacts are hand-ax flints found in Africa, western Asia, and Europe. They date from about 250,000 bc, and they serve to define the beginning of the STONE AGE, (q.v.). The first toolmakers were nomadic groups of hunters who used the sharp edges of stone to cut their food and to prepare clothing and shelter. By about 100,000 bc the graves of hominid ancestors of modern humans (see HUMAN EVOLUTION,) contained pear-shaped axes, scrapers, knives, and other stone instruments indicating that the original hand ax had become a tool for making tools. The use of tools can be observed in many members of the animal kingdom, but this capacity for creating tools to craft other tools distinguishes humans from all other animals.

The next big step in the history of technology was the control of fire. By striking flint against pyrites to produce sparks, people could kindle fires at will, thereby freeing themselves from the necessity of perpetuating fires obtained from natural sources. Besides the obvious benefits of light and heat, fire was also used to bake clay pots, producing heat-resistant vessels that were then used for cooking grains and for brewing and fermenting. Fired pottery later provided the crucibles in which metals could be refined. Advanced thought processes may well have first developed around the hearth, and it was there that the first domesticated animal, the dog, was tamed.

Early technologies were not centered only on practical tools. Colorful minerals were pulverized to make pigments that were then applied to the human body, to clay utensils, and to baskets, clothing, and other objects. In their search for pigments, early peoples discovered the green mineral malachite and the blue mineral azurite. When these copper-containing ores were hammered they did not turn to powder but bent instead, and they could be polished but not chipped. Because of these qualities, small bits of copper were soon made into jewelry. Early peoples also learned that if this material was repeatedly hammered and put into a fire, it would not split or crack. This process of relieving metal stress, called annealing, eventually brought human civilizations out of the Stone Age—particularly when, about 3000 bc, people also found that alloying tin with copper produces bronze (see BRONZE AGE,). Bronze is not only more malleable than copper but also holds a better edge, a quality necessary for such objects as swords and sickles.

Although copper deposits existed in the foothills of Syria and Turkey, at the headwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates, the largest deposits of copper in the ancient world were found on the island of Crete. With the development of seaworthy ships that could reach this extremely valuable resource, Knossos on Crete became a wealthy mining center during the Bronze Age.

Rise of agriculture.

By the time of the Bronze Age, the human societies that dotted every continent had long since made a number of other technological advances. They had developed barbed spears, the bow and arrow, animal-oil lamps, and bone needles for making containers and clothing. They had also embarked on a major cultural revolution; the shift from nomadic hunting and herding societies to the more settled practice of agriculture.

Farming communities first emerged following the end of the most recent ice age, about 10,000 bc. Their traces can be found in widely scattered areas, from southeastern Asia to Mexico. The most famous ones occur in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) near the temperate and fertile river valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates. The loose soil in this fertile crescent was easily scratched for planting, and an abundance of trees was available for firewood.

By 5000 bc, farming communities were established in areas known today as Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Greece, and the islands of Crete and Cyprus. Agricultural societies in these places constructed stone buildings, used the sickle to harvest grain, developed a primitive plowstick, and advanced their skills in metalworking. Trade in flint also began. By 4000 bc, farming had spread westward from these centers to the Danube River in central Europe, southward to the Mediterranean shores of Africa (including the Nile River), and eastward to the Indus Valley.

Development of the Nile River valley led to other technological advances. In that valley, the river floods in the early spring. A system of irrigation and canals had to be developed to water the crops during the growing seasons, when insufficient rain falls. Land ownership had to be redetermined each year by a system of surveying, because property markers often were lost during the floods. The Tigris and Euphrates valleys presented other technological problems. Floods came later in the growing season, so that people had to master the craft of building dikes and flood barriers.

Other early developments.

To assist the efficient transportation of minerals for the growing copper-working industry, two-wheeled carts were constructed; the oldest wheels yet found date from about 3500 bc, in Mesopotamia (see WHEEL,). The yoke, which was used with the plow, was adapted to these first land vehicles. The most frequently employed carriers of goods, however, were reed boats and wood rafts, also first observed in Mesopotamia and Egypt (see BOATS AND BOATBUILDING.). An important result of trade in pottery, metals, and raw materials was the creation of a mark, or seal, used to identify individual creators or owners. Other marks, made with a wedge-shaped reed on soft clay, were devised in Mesopotamia to record commercial transactions. These so-called CUNEIFORM (q.v.) inscriptions were the first form of true writing to be preserved.

Human technology also began to manifest another of its effects: major alteration of the environment. Water management has already been mentioned, but other practices effected greater changes. For example, the demand for firewood led to deforestation, and the overgrazing of sheep and cattle caused fewer new trees to grow in the thin soils of the region. Thus, animal domestication, single-crop agriculture, deforestation, and periodic floods brought about the gradual appearance of desert areas.


After about 4000 bc, one of the most complex creations of humankind appeared: the CITY, (q.v.). From this point forward, technology cannot be described only in terms of simple tools, agricultural advancements, and technical processes such as metallurgy, because the city itself is a technological system. This is evident even in the first written symbols used to represent a city; the symbol is a circle containing networks of lines that indicate transportation and communication systems. The emergence of the city made possible a surplus of food and an abundance of material wealth, which in turn made possible the institution of holy kingship and the construction of temples, tombs, and citadels. The accumulation of precious metals, the acquisition of the power to build defensive walls, and the control of armies and priests ensured the ascendancy of the king, who may be called the first urban technologist.

The ziggurats of Mesopotamia and the pyramids of Egypt symbolize the organizational power and the technological magnitude of the first urban settlements. The pyramid of King Zoser (r. about 2737–2717 bc) of Egypt was built at Saqqara by Imhotep (fl. 27th cent. bc). The first engineer known by name, Imhotep was worshiped as one of the gods of wisdom. The Great Pyramid of King Khufu involved the organization of more than 100,000 workers and the cutting of 2.3 million blocks of stone, each weighing 2 to 4 metric tons. The construction of such massive buildings and monuments, the growth of trade in metalware, and the development of water-resource management also brought about a standardization of measurement. In Mesopotamia the cubit became the standard of length, and the shekel the standard of weight. Time was measured in Egypt with a calendar that divided the yearly cycle of seasons into months and days (see ARCHAEOASTRONOMY,).

Urbanization also stimulated a greater need for writing. The Egyptians improved on the clumsy clay tablet by manufacturing, from papyrus plants, a paperlike material on which they wrote in HIEROGLYPHS, (q.v.). In addition, the city brought about a new division of labor: the caste system. This structure provided security, status, and leisure for an intellectual class of scribes, doctors, teachers, engineers, magicians, and diviners; the greatest resources, however, were allotted to the military.

The Rise of the Military.

The first cities were also, in effect, war machines, built within walls for defense and organized for battle and conquest. Urban centers at Ur, Nippur, Uruk, Thebes, Heliopolis, Assur, Nineveh, and Babylon were arsenals of destructive weaponry. The goal of a military force was to lay waste the city of its enemy. Ur, in Sumer, was not only one of the first great cities to arise (c. 4000 bc) but also one of the first to be destroyed (c. 2000 bc). Similarly, in the Indus Valley far to the east, the great city of Mohenjo-daro was founded about 2500 bc and destroyed about 1700 bc by chariot armies from the north. This same pattern was repeated in Peru and Ecuador in about 1000 bc and later in Central America.

Military technology in the ancient world developed, loosely, in three stages (see ARMY,). In the first stage arose the infantry with its leather or copper helmets, bows, spears, shields, and swords. This stage was followed by the development of chariots (see CHARIOT,), which at first were clumsy vehicles for the use of commanders. The later addition of spokes to the wheels to lighten them (c. 2000 bc), and a bit and bridle for the horse, made the chariot a light war machine that could outflank enemy infantry. The third stage of ancient military technology centered on increasing the mobility and speed of the CAVALRY, (q.v.). The Assyrians, with their knowledge of iron weaponry and their superb horsemanship, dominated much of the civilized world between 1200 and 612 bc.

With the introduction of the stirrup from Asia about the 2d century bc, horsemen were able to obtain better leverage in fighting with swords, and they made chariot warfare obsolete. Swift-striking cavalry units, first observed in Egypt and Persia, became the major military forces. With their emergence came the need for better transportation and communication systems. The Persians were the first to set up a network of roads and posting stations in order to rule their vast empire, which extended all the way from the Punjab to the Mediterranean Sea.

Greek and Roman Technologies.

The Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great was overthrown and succeeded by the empire of Greece's Alexander the Great. Greece had first become a power through its skill in shipbuilding and trading and by its colonization of the shores of the Mediterranean. The Greeks defeated the Persians, in part, because of their naval power.

The Persians and Greeks also introduced a new caste into the division of labor: slavery. By the time of Greece's Golden Age, its civilization depended on slaves for nearly all manual labor. Most scholars agree that in societies that practice slavery, problems in productivity tend to be solved by increasing the number of workers rather than by looking for new production methods or new energy sources. Because of this, theoretical knowledge and learning in Greece—and later in Rome—was largely separated from physical labor and manufacturing.

This is not to say that the Greeks did not develop many new technological ideas. People such as Archimedes, Hero of Alexandria, Ctesibius (fl. 270–246 bc), and Ptolemy wrote about the principles of siphons, pulleys, levers, cams, fire engines, cogs, valves, and turbines. Some practical contributions of the Greeks were of great importance, such as the water clock of Ctesibius, the diptra (a surveying instrument) of Hero of Alexandria, and the screw pump of Archimedes. Similarly, Greek shipping was improved by Thales of Miletus, who introduced methods of navigation by triangulation, and by Anaximander, who produced the first world map. Nevertheless, the technological advances of the Greeks were not on a par with their contributions to theoretical knowledge and their wide-ranging speculations.

The Roman Empire that engulfed and succeeded that of the Greeks was somewhat similar in this respect. The Romans, however, were great technologists in the sense of organizing and building; they established an urban civilization that enjoyed the first long peaceful period in human history. The great change in engineering that occurred in the Roman period came as a shift from building tombs, temples, and fortifications to the construction of enormous systems of public works. Using water-resistant cement and the principle of the arch, Roman engineers built 70,800 km (44,000 mi) of roads across their vast empire. They also built numerous sports arenas and public baths and hundreds of aqueducts, sewers, and bridges. The engineer of public works for Rome in the 1st century ad, Sextus Julius Frontinus (c. 35–103), fought corruption and illegal practices and took great pride in the public works that provided better sanitary conditions for the citizens of Rome.

Roman engineers were also responsible for introducing the water mill and for the subsequent design of undershot and overshot water wheels, which were used to grind grain, saw wood, and cut marble. In the military sphere, the Romans advanced technology by improving weapons such as the javelin and the catapult (see ARTILLERY,).

Middle Ages.

The period between the fall of Rome and the Industrial Revolution—from approximately ad 500 to 1500—is known as the Middle Ages. Contrary to a popular image, however, this period was not “dark,” isolated, or backward. In fact, greater technological advancements were made in this period than during the Greek and Roman eras. (In addition, the Byzantine and Islamic cultures that thrived during this period were active in the areas of natural philosophy, art, literature, and religion, and Islamic culture in particular made many scientific contributions that would be of great importance in the European Renaissance.) Medieval technologies do not fall into simple categories, however, because the technology of the Middle Ages was eclectic. Medieval society was highly adaptive, willing to acquire new ideas and methods of production from any source—whether the cultures of Islam and Byzantium, or China, or the far-ranging Vikings.

Warfare and agriculture.

In the area of warfare, cavalry was improved as a military weapon with the invention of the lance and the saddle about the 4th century. These in turn led to the development of heavier armor, the breeding of larger horses, and the building of great castles. The introduction of crossbow and, later, gunpowder technologies from China, where they had been developed many centuries before, resulted in the manufacture of guns, cannons, and mortars (through the development of the blast furnace), thereby reducing the effectiveness of heavy shields and massive stone fortifications.

The introduction of a heavier plow that had wheels, a horizontal plowshare, and a moldboard, among other new features, made agriculture more productive in the Middle Ages. Three-field crop rotation and the resulting surplus of grains were among the developments that—together with political and social changes—led many peasants to abandon small, individual farming plots and to adopt the successful medieval communal pattern of open-field agriculture.

One of the most important machines of medieval times was the WINDMILL, (q.v.). It not only increased the amount of grain ground and timber sawed; it also produced millwrights experienced with the compound crank, cams, and other technologies for gearing machines and linking their parts with other devices. The spinning wheel (see SPINNING,), introduced from India in the 13th or 14th century, improved the production of yarn and thread for cloth and became a common machine around the hearth. The hearth itself was transformed by the addition of a chimney to conserve wood, which was becoming scarce because of agricultural expansion. Farm surpluses by ad 1000 led to an increase in trade and in the growth of cities. Within the cities, architectural innovations of many kinds were developed, culminating in the great Gothic cathedrals with their high walls made possible by flying buttresses.


Innovations in transportation during the Middle Ages revolutionized the spread of technologies and ideas across wide areas. Such devices as the horseshoe, the whiffletree (for harnessing animals to wagons effectively), and the spring carriage speeded the transfer of people and goods. Important changes also occurred in marine technology. The development of the deep keel, the triangular lateen sail for greater maneuverability, and the magnetic compass (in the 13th cent.) made sailing ships the most complex machines of the age. A school was established by Prince Henry of Portugal to teach navigators how to use these machines effectively. Perhaps more than did Copernicus's astronomical theories, Prince Henry's students changed humanity's perception of the world (see NAVIGATION,).

Other major inventions.

Two other medieval inventions, the clock and the printing press, also have had a permanent influence on all aspects of human life. The invention of a weight-driven clock in 1286 meant that people would no longer live in a world structured primarily by the daily course of the sun and the yearly change of the seasons. The clock was also an immense aid to navigation, and the precise measurement of time was essential for the growth of modern science.

The invention of the printing press, in turn, set off a social revolution that is still in progress. (The Chinese had developed both paper and printing—including textile printing—before the 2d century ad, but these innovations did not become generally known to the Western world until much later.) The German printing pioneer Johann Gutenberg solved the problem of molding movable type about 1450. Once developed, printing spread rapidly and began to replace hand-printed texts for a wider audience. Thus, intellectual life soon was no longer the exclusive domain of church and court, and literacy became a necessity of urban existence.


By the end of the Middle Ages the technological systems called cities had long since become a central feature of Western life. In 1600 London and Amsterdam each had populations of more than 100,000, and twice that number resided in Paris. Also, the Dutch, English, Spanish, and French were beginning to develop global empires. Colonialism and trade produced a powerful merchant class that helped to create an increasing desire for such luxuries as wine, coffee, tea, cocoa, and tobacco. These merchants acquired libraries, wore clothing made of expensive fabrics and furs, and set a style of life aspired to by the wider populace. By the beginning of the 18th century, capital resources and banking systems were well enough established in Great Britain to initiate investment in mass-production techniques that would satisfy some of these middle-class aspirations.

The Industrial Revolution.

The INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, (q.v.) started in England because that nation had the technological means, government encouragement, and a large and varied trade network. The first factories appeared in 1740, concentrating on textile production (see FACTORY SYSTEM,). In 1740 the majority of English people wore woolen garments, but within the next 100 years the scratchy, often soggy and fungus-filled woolens were replaced by cotton—especially after the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, an American, in 1793. Such English inventions as the flying shuttle and carding machines of John Kay, the water frame of Richard Arkwright, the spinning jenny of James Hargreaves, and the improvements in weaving made by Samuel Crompton (1753–1827) were all integrated with a new source of power, the steam engine, developed in England by Thomas Newcomen, James Watt, Richard Trevithick, and in the U.S. by Oliver Evans (1755–1819). Within a 35-year period, from the 1790s to the 1830s, more than 100,000 power looms with 9,330,000 spindles were put into service in England and Scotland.

One of the most important innovations in the weaving process was introduced in France in 1801 by Joseph Jacquard (1752–1834); his loom used cards with holes punched in them to determine the placement of threads in the warp. This use of punched cards inspired the British mathematician Charles Babbage to attempt to design a calculating machine based on the same principle. Although this machine never became fully practical, it presaged the great computer revolution of the 20th century (see COMPUTER,).

New labor pattern.

The Industrial Revolution brought a new pattern to the division of labor. It created the modern factory, a technological network whose workers were not required to be artisans and did not necessarily possess craft skills. Because of this, the factory introduced an impersonal remuneration process based on a wage system. As a result of the financial hazards brought on by the economic systems that accompanied such industrial developments, the factory also led to the constant threat of unemployment for its workers.

The factory system was achieved only after much resistance from the English guilds and artisans (see GUILD,), who could see clearly the threat to their income and way of life. In musket making, for example, gunsmiths fought the introduction of interchangeable parts and the mass production of rifles. Nevertheless, the factory system became a basic institution of modern technology, and the work of men, women, and children became just another commodity in the production process. The ultimate assembly of a product—whether a mechanical reaper or a sewing machine—was not the work of one person but the result of an integrated, corporate system. This division of labor into operations that were more and more narrowly described became the determining feature of work in the new industrial society, with all the long hours of tedium that this entailed.

Increased pace of innovation.

As agricultural productivity increased and medical science developed, Western society came to have a strong belief in the desirability of technological change despite its less pleasant aspects. Pride and a measure of awe resulted from such engineering achievements as the laying of the first Atlantic telegraph cable, the building of the Suez and Panama canals, and the construction of the EIFFEL TOWER,, the BROOKLYN BRIDGE,, and the enormous iron passenger ship, the GREAT EASTERN, (qq.v.). The telegraph and railroads connected most of the major cities with one another. In the late 19th century, the light bulb of the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison began to replace candles and lamps, and within 30 years every industrial nation was generating electric power for lighting and other systems.

Such 19th- and 20th-century inventions as the telephone, the phonograph, the wireless radio, the motion picture, the automobile, and the airplane served only to add to the nearly universal respect that society in general felt for technology. With the development of assembly-line mass production of automobiles and household appliances, and the building of ever taller skyscrapers, acceptance of innovations became not only a fact of everyday life but also a way of life in itself. Society was being rapidly transformed by increased mobility, rapid communication, and a deluge of available information from mass media.

Technical education.

One of the several reasons why the U.S. became a technological leader in the 20th century was its development of an advanced system of technical education. Mechanical arts schools began in Philadelphia in the 18th century, and by the end of the 19th century they had spread to every major American city. In the 20th century, a state-based system of vocational education provided training in basic technical skills. Between 1862 and 1890, engineering and agricultural colleges in every state were funded by a federal program known as the Morrill Land Grant (see EDUCATION, TECHNICAL,; EDUCATION, VOCATIONAL,). In addition, since the early 1920s, every rural county in the nation has had a federal extension office that is responsible for disseminating information to farmers on new technologies and research (see COOPERATIVE STATE RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND EXTENSION SERVICE).

Reassessments of Technology.

World War I and the Great Depression forced a sobering reassessment of this rapid technological explosion. The development of submarines, machine guns, battleships, and chemical warfare made increasingly clear the destructive side of technological change. In addition, worldwide mass unemployment and the disasters met by capitalistic institutions in the 1930s initiated a further strong critique of the benefits that result from technological progress.

Then, with World War II, came the development of the weapon that has since become a general threat to life on earth: the atomic bomb. Although national leaders often speak of the peaceful uses of NUCLEAR ENERGY, (q.v.), nuclear power can never be discussed without referring to its dangers as well. Another technological outgrowth of World War II—the development of computers and transistors and the accompanying trend toward miniaturization—is having equally profound effects on society as well (see MICROPROCESSOR,). The possibilities it offers are enormous, but so are the possibilities for invasion of privacy and for work-force displacement by automated systems (see AUTOMATION,).

During the 1950s some observers began to warn that many other products of technology also had harmful or destructive aspects. Automobile exhausts, they pointed out, were polluting the atmosphere, pesticides such as DDT were threatening the food chain, and mineral wastes from a wide variety of industrial sources were polluting large reservoirs of groundwater. Indeed, the physical environment has become so jammed with technological processes that one of the major challenges of modern society is the search for places to dump the wastes that have been produced.

Proposed Alternatives.

Several alternatives to this contemporary technological dilemma have been suggested. For example, one concept formally instituted in the U.S. has been that of technology assessment. As present, government regulatory commissions, the court systems, and the insurance industry provide the most common means for assessing the effects of technological innovations on human life. In the U.S., a congressional Office of Technology Assessment was established in the late 1970s and charged with the responsibility of evaluating the social, economic, environmental, and health effects of projects and devices. It has been very difficult in practice, however, to predict secondary effects of new technologies.

Many people who have little faith in comprehensive planning and technology assessment have advanced the concept of so-called appropriate, or intermediate, technology as an alternative to the technological problems of the industrialized nations, and as a solution to the problem of social dislocation caused by the transfer of advanced technologies to developing countries. In his Small Is Beautiful (1973), the British economist E. F. Schumacher (1911–77) stated that—for humane, aesthetic, moral, and political reasons—the overwhelming nature of modern technology threatens a quality of life that has meaning, freedom of choice, a human sense of scale, and an equal chance for justice and individual creativity. Supporters of this viewpoint have proposed a value system in which all people recognize that the earth's resources are limited and that human life must be structured around a commitment to control the growth of industry, the size of cities, and the use of energy. Restoration and renewal of natural resources has become the technological objectives of the appropriate-technology alternative.

Another school of thought, technological determinism, argues that modern society is no longer living in the industrial age of the 19th and earlier 20th centuries. They argue that postindustrial society is already a reality, and that the complex sociotechnical networks mediated by advanced electronics have made obsolete the institutions of nationalistic governments, capitalistic corporations, as well as heavily populated cities.


Twentieth-century technology spread from Europe and the U.S. to other major nations such as Japan and the Soviet Union. It has not, however, pervaded all the countries of the world, by any means. Some so-called developing nations have never experienced the factory system and other institutions of industrialization. The leaders of such countries tend to feel that the acquisition of modern weapons and new technology will provide them with power and prestige. No one, however, can predict the religious, social, and cultural consequences of the transfer of technologies to these countries. In fact, some of the most severe social dislocations during recent decades have occurred in regions where radical changes caused by technology transfer have taken place; Uganda and Iran are two unhappy examples.

Technology has always been a major means for creating new physical and human environments. It is possible to ask today whether technology will also destroy the global civilization that human beings have created.        R.H.M., RAYMOND H. MERRITT, M.A., Ph.D.

See also INVENTION,.

For further information on this topic, see the Bibliography, sections 483. General technology–485. Invention, 583. Automation.

An article from Funk & Wagnalls® New Encyclopedia. © 2006 World Almanac Education Group. A WRC Media Company. All rights reserved. Except as otherwise permitted by written agreement, uses of the work inconsistent with U.S. and applicable foreign copyright and related laws are prohibited.

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ENCYCLOPEDIA: Chronology of World History


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