The fundamental evolutionary advantage of human beings over all other species on this planet is our ability to make things. We make tools to make more complex tools to make end products that help us survive, thrive, and develop. Pre-humans may have started making simple tools over 2 1/2 millions years ago and serious complex tool-making took off during the Bronze Age just a brief 5,000 years ago.
Ever since those grand old days, humans have been exponentially improving our making abilities. Today, we're extremely good at it, and there is a growing population of amateur "Makers" who are creating a serious hobby out of playing with technology and discovering personal skills to prove that they are the ultimate in human beings right from their own garage.
Dale Dougherty, the founder and publisher of MAKE: Magazine, recently presented a TED Talk on the growing presence of makers across the country. They tinker in their garages, at Maker Faires, and at hackerspaces, and Dale wants to convinces us all that each one of us is a maker at heart. He must be right -- we are human beings, after all -- we just need to tap into that core evolutionary skill and start making.
Watch Dale Dougherty's TED Talk from the Motor City.