1999 : WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INVENTION IN THE PAST TWO THOUSAND YEA

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Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University; coauthor, Complexity and Information
Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute

My nomination is the invention of the scientific method.

The Greeks believed we could understand the world rationally. But the scientific method requires that we ask questions of nature by experimentation. This has led to the science and technology that has transformed the world.