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If no birds or flying creatures existed

  1. Apr 27, 2015 #1
    on earth. Would mankind have still built an airplane? Or even thought about flying?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 27, 2015 #2

    Evo

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    We built weapons, we made clothing, jewelry, the list goes on and on, so sure, why not? We've built many things that did not occur in nature.
     
  4. Apr 27, 2015 #3
    Weapons were probably discovered by accident when someone playing with a stick accidentally hit someone else, or, someone throwing rocks accidentally hit someone. Clothing was probably first extrapolated from animal fur: you kill an animal and notice in the process of butchering it that the fur is soft and warm. A pelt used as a bed for long enough would soften up, giving people the idea of deliberately softening them. Blanket becomes a cape, and eventually the cape is crudely tailored.

    It's a lot less direct route to flight in the absence of flying creatures.
     
  5. Apr 27, 2015 #4

    Evo

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    Musical instruments, radios, televisions, computers, You fall off a cliff, you wish there was some way you could float safely down instead of crashing and getting hurt. You throw something and watch it fly through the air and it goes a great distance effortlessly, you wonder what it would be like to be able to soar through the air effortlessly and go a great distance, looking down from above, we'd get there. Humans have great imaginations and are inventive and some people will try anything.

    Hot air balloons, people noticed that ashes went up in the air over a fire. Hot air balloons didn't come from observing birds.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  6. Apr 27, 2015 #5
    i would like to point out that jewelry has no real value or purpose. my thoughts are that the absense of flying creatures on earth would have greatly delayed man-made flight at the bare minimum.
     
  7. Apr 27, 2015 #6

    Evo

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    Well, we'll never know. It's really a pointless question since there is no definite answer.
     
  8. Apr 27, 2015 #7
    well the point is that we have gotten a lot of tech and science from studying animals. as more and more animals die due to pollution animals that we havent even discovered yet could die before we every studying it. what if an animal exists that moves in the 4th dimension but it got killed off due to pollution and now we will never know how how it did that. Just something i was thinking about.
     
  9. Apr 27, 2015 #8

    Evo

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    We might as well ask "what have we not invented yet?" Maybe there are invisible animals that cannot be detected living around us? :smile: I know I have one that takes just one sock, or a clove of garlic I needed for dinner (for those of you that remember when my garlic disappeared, I never did find it, and it was an entire head, not just a clove). Things vanish, never to be seen again. Why? :-p

    Do you think that a creature existing in another dimension could be affected by something that doesn't exist in that dimension? Could a 4th dimensional lion eat me?

    If you are interested in other dimensions, Heinlein wrote a great short story about a house that was a teseract. I found it online if you'd like to read it http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/courses/2010-11/mth053-fa10/assignments/crooked-house.pdf

    And then there is Flatland.

    Fun things to think about.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  10. Apr 27, 2015 #9
    Things that are imagined first, with no inspiration from nature, usually aren't possible. Take the star trek transporter, replicators, and warp drive.
    But you're missing the point that they came from observing ashes, and therefore, were inspired by something observed. The invention imitates the action of the observed thing - balloon don't fly like birds. They just float, like ashes. The dream of flight was the dream of imitating birds: Icarus, and the winged da Vinci machine design.
     
  11. Apr 27, 2015 #10

    Evo

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  12. Apr 27, 2015 #11
    I don't think you need to go that far. There are a lot of people studying perfectly real animals that survive in extreme environments asking what use their skills could have for us. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry still takes cues from natural plants with various properties for new drugs. And, yeah, a lot of those things are getting wiped out by human activities.
     
  13. Apr 27, 2015 #12
    No, more like this: Screen shot 2015-04-27 at 1.21.04 PM.png

    The helicopter thing, as you probably know, was a toy that we know goes back to ancient China. How do you suppose it came to be? If you think someone conceived of it from scratch as a model of a flying machine, I'd just about have to guarantee you you're wrong. It was made for some other purpose, and it's ability to to climb in the air when twirled was discovered by accident.
     
  14. Apr 27, 2015 #13

    Evo

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    Do you have any sources for that? I found this.

    http://www.leonardodavincisinventions.com/inventions-for-flight/leonardo-da-vinci-helicopter/
     
  15. Apr 27, 2015 #14
    http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/images/I005/10216094.aspx
     
  16. Apr 27, 2015 #15

    Evo

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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2015
  17. Apr 27, 2015 #16
    Like I said:
    The original purpose could have been as a completely ornamental whirligig, or it might have been intended as a serious windmill rotor, or maybe even as a fan blade. The original observation that lead someone to start thinking on these lines probably came from their sailing technology.
    Yes, the ancient Chinese were exceptionally inventive.
     
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