Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Wheel

Why didn't Aboriginal people invent the wheel?

This has historically been used as an argument for the idea that Aboriginal people are somehow 'primitive' due its being considered the cornerstone of Western society. The truth is that there are 4 very basic reasons for why Aboriginal people did not invent the wheel.

1. They did not have heavy items that required being transported over long distances.

2. They did not have any beasts of burdens (unless you imagine that they may have harnessed several kangaroos or a few dozen wombats, which paints a cute mental picture but is quite unrealistic).

3. They did not enslave any large numbers of people to replace the role of the beasts of burden. 

4. The terrain in most parts of Australia is not easily suited to the use of a wheel without developing massive roadways, which would have been a massive undertaking without any discernible benefit. 

Furthermore, the implication that Aboriginal people did not understand the concept that ROUND THINGS ROLL is highly offensive. Even slater beetles and dung beetles understand that round things roll. Traditional Aboriginal people understood how to live in perfect harmony with their environment, as well as the premise that led to human powered winged flight, I think they understood the fundamental effects of force on round things. I believe if they were shown a wheel ten thousand years ago they would have said "what a nice child's toy".

The real question is "since everyone used spears, how come not many people came up with the woomera?"

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