- 4,000,000 years ago (83,000 generations) Bipedalism
After nearly 4 billion years of evolution our DNA figured out it was advantageous to walk upright. With this new development the earth saw the arrival of the first human like apes.
- 200,000 years ago (7,500 generations) Earliest evidence of Homo Sapiens.
If you could time travel this is the farthest back you could go and be able to successfully breed with something else on the planet.
- 12,000 years ago* (500 generations) Emergence of Civilization.
It took 7000 generations of incremental progress but finally we figured out how to live together in groups.
- 5,200 years ago (220 generations) The Birth of Writing.
For the first time we could accurately pass knowledge both laterally across to our contemporaries and vertically down to the generations to come.
- 450 years ago (20 generations) The Scientific Revolution
The application of reason and logic to our understanding of the world we live in.
- 200 years ago (8 generations) The Industrial Revolution
The mass production of goods along with improvements in transportation, energy and communication improved living standards across the world and elevated our productive capabilities.
- 50 years ago (2 generations) The Computer gives rise to the Internet
Artificial computation connected our world and gave each person access to all of human knowledge.
Notice the almost telescoping effect going on, each iteration comes faster than the previous one and builds off of it.
Important to note that with each breakthrough the individual was empowered with the ability to enact change faster and over larger scales than before.
There are two more breakthroughs coming which will have a far greater impact than any before.
* this number is a controversial figure with some claiming civilization goes much further back, evidenced by recent archaeological findings, most notably Gobekli Tepe