Firstly, let us not assume that whatever the past produced was inferior to all present achievements. Contemporary archeologists, scientists and astronomers are still baffled by the great Pyramid of Giza, and its construction remains a mystery that cannot be explained. Even the mortar used, though its chemical composition has been identified, cannot be reproduced to this day! So when we say that the height of the Tower of Babel could not have compared to present skyscrapers, we are grossly underestimating the capabilities of humans who were closer to perfection than we are today. From the moment sin entered into the world, man slowly began his degression, not evolution to a more advanced state.
Why did God stop the building of the Tower of Babel? According to the account in Genesis chapter 11, it was the hubris, the pride of the builders that God found fault with. They wanted to make a name for themselves, to no other purpose than to gain recognition, wide spread fame. The fact that they wanted the tower to reach the heavens implies they desired to be as great as God Himself. God, who reads the heart and the mind of man, had already encountered such pride in the Morning Star, Satan himself, who had claimed: “I will ascend to heaven…above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High,” (Isaiah 14: 13, 14). Pride being the greatest of sins, because it renders repentance and reform impossible, and a sin that God abhors above all else in His creation, will never be tolerated by Him, for He rightly said: “I am the Lord… I will not give my glory to another,” (Isaiah 42:8). Hence, to teach these proud mortals a lesson and thwart their plans of achieving greatness, the Lord confused the language of the builders of Babel so that they could no longer communicate among themselves, and in frustration had to scatter abroad throughout the face of the earth. They could no longer enjoy “strength in unity.” They learned the bitter lesson that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” (James 4:6; Proverbs 3:34).