The Renaissance began in the late 14th century in Italy, when someone said, “You know what? Screw this Middle Ages shit.” And so they did.
There were huge advances in many areas during the Renaissance. In art, painters started using linear perspective, and putting codes in their paintings that only Dan Brown would be able to make out hundreds of years later.
There was a great deal of progress in science as well. In Leonardo da Vinci’s sketchbooks, one can see drawings of flying machines, not to mention rudimentary sketches of something he called “Toaster Streudel.”
There were advances in other areas as well: literature, music, architecture, bowling, commemorative plate collecting, cupcake baking and masturbation, just to name a few.
So where would we be without the Renaissance? We’d have millions of people who don’t believe in valid scientific principles like evolution and global warming, and who condemn art and literature that doesn’t match their religious beliefs. Oh. Wait.