4Gutenberg Didn't Invent the Printing Press
If you don't know the name Johannes Gutenberg, let's put it this way: He's considered by many to be the most influential person of the last thousand years.
It's all because around 1439, Gutenberg whipped up the world's first printing press, putting books into the hands of the common man for the first time ever. That means we all have him to thank for the entire concept of mass distribution of information. So yeah, he's remembered as having utterly changed the world with the invention of a single machine.
Yep, the Gilette Twin-Beard Razor.
Except That ...
Gutenberg wasn't the first guy to do it. Not even a little bit. Movable metal type -- the method his printing press used -- was 200-year-old news by 1439. That's because the Goryeo dynasty of Korea already covered that ground back in the 13th century.
Starcraft manuals, as far as the eye can see.
It was during the 1200s that the Mongols caught world domination fever, and Korea was one of the many nations on their road to recovery. As the Mongols invaded Korea, they destroyed countless religious texts. So the Koreans did what any self-respecting country would do -- they invented a revolutionary way to use metal characters dripping with ink to preserve their sacred heritage as quickly as possible.
And check this out, we've still got one of the books they printed:
We translated the symbol for "First!!!" and didn't read any further.
That bad boy was printed in 1377, over 60 years before Gutenberg got his press up and running. And by the way, Asia had already been printing with wood blocks for hundreds of years by this point, while the West was still hand-writing with quill feathers on pig carcasses. In other words, the transition to metal movable type on paper got a whopping "Meh" from the East and a "HOLY SHIT, IT'S A MIRACLE!" from the West.
3Darwin Didn't Invent the Theory of Evolution
Any chucklehead with half a brain knows who came up with evolution: Charles Darwin. Most people even know the background story: Darwin went on a five-year voyage aboard the HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands, discovered some mismatched finches, then, bam! We have The Origin of Species and decades of ill-informed debates at IHOP.
Remember everyone, it's just a theory, and God planted dinosaurs in the Earth to fuck with you.
Except That ...
Before Charles was even born, his own grandfather was preaching evolution -- in verse.
Not only was Charles' grandaddy Erasmus a philosopher, a botanist, an inventor and awesome at wearing ringlets ...
... but also he was one of the first intellectuals to speculate that all life came from one origin. But unlike some people, he didn't just go out and write a world-changing treatise. Erasmus instead chose to express his brilliance in the form of poetry. Check it:
Organic life beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and nurs'd in ocean's pearly caves;
First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.
The book that poem came from introduced the three-boobed woman centuries before Total Recall.
BAM, it's evolution, baby! And in 1802, seven years before his grandson was born and 57 years before The Origin of Species. That's like Albert Einstein's great uncle coming up with the theory of relativity, but using the art of shadow puppetry to express it. And Erasmus wasn't done there. He also came up with a little something we like to call natural selection:
"The final course of this contest among males seems to be, that the strongest and most active animal should propagate the species which should thus be improved."
And just to prove that he was the pinnacle of the species, he fathered 14 children.
Not to mention the notion that all life came from a single organism:
Would it be too bold to imagine, that in the great length of time, since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind, would it be too bold to imagine, that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality ...
No, Erasmus! It would not be too bold! Unless you don't like science, then yes, it is too bold. The point is that while most grandchildren inherit watches and government bonds from their grandparents, Charles Darwin inherited the beginnings of a paradigm shift.
And one hell of a political cartoon shitstorm.