Keeping this discussion strictly from a scientific standpoint, as per the TOU...
There is no such thing as evolution!
This is not an arguable point as evolution has never been proven.
Gravity also has never been proven. Does gravity not exist? You cannot prove a theory in science. A "proof" only exists in mathematics. In science, a theory becomes validated (a fact) through repeated observation in support of it and no observation against it. Evolution, the changing of inherited traits from one generation to the next, is easy observable and is therefore considered a fact by the overwhelming majority of the scientific community.
There are bacteria which reproduce every few hours. Scientists have observed thousands of generations of these bacteria, and have seen their characteristics as a species completely change. This is just one of the many validations of evolution that have occurred over hundreds of years.
To ignore evolution would be disastrous. There is currently a problem with certain infectious bacteria becoming resistant to certain types of antibiotics, making them harder to kill. This is mainly due to people getting sick and getting a prescription for antibiotics, but then instead of taking them for a full 30 days, they stop taking them after 20 days because they feel better. Well, they might feel fine, but some bacteria may still be left in their system. When those bacteria reproduce, the ones with the most resistance will survive. This is natural selection, aka the "survival of the fittest". The ones resistant to the antibiotic which is in their environment have the highest chance of surviving in that environment. So, as generations go on, it will be more and more likely that bacteria resistant to the antibiotic will be the only ones that will survive. This is why understanding evolution is important. If evolution was ignored, doctors would say, "Oh well, I guess antibiotics will no longer work and we will all die." But since doctors understand evolution (as most men of science do), they know that making sure the patient finishes the antibiotic regiment will ensure that all the bacteria is killed so that they don't have a chance to evolve into a resistant strain.
Sorry to the original poster for going off topic, but I actually think this is on topic. You are asking for a scientific reason why we are different than other creatures, and evolution provides the means for that difference.
So, to answer your question, how are we different? Well, for one, it is not our self-awareness. It has been theorized and observed (just like gravity) that great apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas), bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, elephants, and European Magpies are all self-aware.
It is due to our increased brain size (per kg of body weight), especially in the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex, which controls things such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought, all of which are important for invention. It is the largest (again, per kg of body weight) of any animal. However, not so coincidentally, most of the animals I listed above that are self-aware have some of the largest frontal lobes, other than humans.
That increased brain size is a direct result of natural selection and evolution, as it is advantageous to our survival to be able to invent and advance to allow us to make things to help us be protected, get more food, etc. So why do we keep advancing? It is that basic evolutionary instinct to survive that drives us all. The easier we make survival, the more of our species will survive. The more humans that survive, the greater chance that we, as both individuals and a species, will survive, say, an alien invasion or robot uprising.
And to add to what Troy said, I agree that most inventions are not a result of laziness. Many inventions were made by some of the most industrious people of their time (Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, etc.). The fact that society as a whole adopts the inventions is, again, as a means for an easier survival. So in that way, Zorba is right, that inventions do make life easier, but they are typically not born of laziness, but rather the desire for a more successful/productive/enjoyable survival.