Talking about a hypothetical case in which civilisation has to be rebooted, Professor Dartnell wrote it will take substantial time to recover technologies that have taken so much time to be built. He said: “The power of teaching, copying and, especially, enhancing the creations of previous generations sets our species apart from all others.”
Drawing on three of the engine’s components – the crank, camshaft, and flywheel, he shows how these items have changed historically from ancient inventions. He concluded: “The story of these parts demonstrates that even though the purring engine in a brand-new sports car may seem like the height of modern technological sophistication, it is in fact a mishmash of components co-opted from ancient inventions.”
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