View Poll Results: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

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  • An Invention

    22 21.36%
  • A Discovery

    75 72.82%
  • Other

    6 5.83%
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Thread: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

  1. #11
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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    however you could argue that using the principal of friction coupled with the concept of tinder is an invention
    If they were inspired to use tinder from some intuitive light-bulb moment. But most likely we started using tinder when we saw that they catch fire easily. It was more an observation (discovery) than any new concept we invented - like say x-ray.

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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaO01 View Post
    We have a tendency to grossly underestimate early man by calling him primitive. Many recent discoveries are showing us that they were more advanced and had the same brain power we do. Just remember primitive man could survive without electricity. If we lost power most of us idiots wouldn't know how to survive or start a fire on our own. Hell we couldn't plant a crop, fish, or hunt any animal either without modern conveniences that depend on electricity to manufacture.
    "Primitive" refers to the level of technology, not that the human back then necessarily have smaller brain. The Indians might be considered to be primitive compared to whites who has steam ships, guns and what not but that doesn't mean they are less smart.

  3. #13
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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    If they were inspired to use tinder from some intuitive light-bulb moment. But most likely we started using tinder when we saw that they catch fire easily. It was more an observation (discovery) than any new concept we invented - like say x-ray.
    x-ray was discovered by observation
    from wiki:
    Physicist Johann Hittorf observed tubes with energy rays extending from a negative electrode. William Crookes investigated the effects of energy discharges on rare gases. Heinrich Hertz began experimenting and demonstrated that cathode rays could penetrate very thin metal foil (such as aluminium). In 1887, Nikola Tesla began to investigate X-rays and produced the bremsstrahlung process. In 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen began observing and further documenting X-rays while experimenting with vacuum tubes.
    it started with the Hittorf bloke observing what happened with electodes, and went from there.


    most inventions are made by observing a phenomena and investigating further
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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    x-ray was discovered by observation
    from wiki:


    it started with the Hittorf bloke observing what happened with electodes, and went from there.


    most inventions are made by observing a phenomena and investigating further
    I should have been more accurate and say how we apply x-ray to scanning our body. That application is a new idea that we didn't get from nature. Applying spark to tinder is not something we just thought up without seeing it in nature.

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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    A discovery involves something that exists or could exist outside of the actions of man. An invention involves the creation of something which necessitates the actions of man.

    Fire existed before and outside of the actions of man, so it can't be "an invention".

    BTW what is this thread about?
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Maybe women learned how to create fire, and not "man"? After all, they tended the hearth.

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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonpareil View Post
    Some of you know where this is from. I'm just wondering what the general opinion out there is.
    I say its a discovery. Our early ancestors probably used fire when ever a lightning storm lit something on fire or where ever there was a wild fire but then eventually figured out how to make fire on their own, in which those methods used to make fire would still be discoveries like striking flint and rubbing two sticks together.
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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    I don't think you can invent something that comes from nature, i.e., fire, wind, rain, Earth, certain naturally occuring chemical elements such as iron or zinc. That said, IMO, fire was discovered. Now, you can invent other ways to produce fire, such as a blow torch, but fire itself was a discovery.

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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Naturally created fire (lightning strike, sunlight focused through sap, volcanic eruptions etc) was discovered. Human-created fire was invented.

    I would suspect we were using the fire we discovered - and inventing new ways to keep it burning longer - for a long time before we invented a way to make it ourselves.
    The truth may be out there, but lies are in your head. ~Terry Pratchett

  10. #20
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    Re: Is fire an invention or a discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by iangb View Post
    Naturally created fire (lightning strike, sunlight focused through sap, volcanic eruptions etc) was discovered. Human-created fire was invented.

    I would suspect we were using the fire we discovered - and inventing new ways to keep it burning longer - for a long time before we invented a way to make it ourselves.
    How? Did early man discover friction and were applying it to something else, and then one day a thought occur: why rubbing stones together cause them to be hotter, if I put some dry brush to them it might catches fire, let's try and see. Or did they come across it accidentally?

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