A kick start such as?
A gigantic tsunami?
A nuclear war?
Seriously though, I really feel the only way the human race is going to advance is if a horrible disaster shakes and wakes and even then I have strong doubts. We like the easy path all too much. Look at me now. I could be cleaning litter off the beach at this very moment, but I'm being a math whore on my computer.
Given the balanced reaction if x moles of A react with y moles of B, which is the limiting reactant and what are the theoretical yields of C and D in units of grams, and the percent yield of C given that z grams of it were produced and Big Bird takes it up the wazzoo from Snuffy all night long while high on crack?
Yep, I'm so awesome. Look at me go. Watch me whip, watch me nay nay.... whatever the fuck that even means.