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The history of humanity can be written in terms of discovery and invention. They are very different cognitive processes—search for order and problem solving. This book is a search for explanation of the Scientific and Industrial Revolutions. It surveys seven civilizations in terms of both their achievements and their failures. What were the characteristics they shared that promoted progress? What prevented or discouraged progress in discovery and or in invention? Sumer was creative, the mother of civilizations. Egypt was not. In Sumer, authority was divided, and it was a trading economy. Egypt was authoritarian and closed. Rome and Islam inherited the Greek legacy. Rome was not interested; it had a different agenda. Islam progressed, but civilization conflicted with religion and then regressed. China led in inventions but then stagnated and always lagged in discovery. Its ultimate failure has multiple explanations that include the scope of authority, structure of society and economy, and of language and script. But so was its preference for intuition over logic or evidence as the method of seeking the truth. It is Greek capacity for abstraction origin a mystery that was essential for its achievements: discoveries of the structure of the universe and the cognitive approach to truth seeking. Much invention was a byproduct of discovery. It is Greek achievements in discovery and abstract reasoning that Europe adopted and advanced, leading to the scientific and subsequent industrial revolutions. Ours is a new phase in human history. What were some of its consequences, and what are its prospects?