But the most earth-shattering ideas are succinct enough to make my lips purse.
Case 1: Watson & Crick’s famous paper on DNA.
Watson JD, Crick FH (April 1953). "Molecular structure of nucleic acids; a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid" (PDF). Nature 171 (4356): 737–738
Check it out. It fits onto a single sheet of A4 paper (“Letter” in the US) and changed the face of Biology. It didn’t derail Darwin; it reinforced his ideas and showed them to be ahead of his time.
Case 2: Edsger W.Dijkstra’s “ A Case against the GO TO Statement ”
It fits easily onto two pages, but I’ve seen condensation that fit on one.
I’ll augment this blog post with other examples as they come to my mind.