I agree with most of what pohnpei397 has written, particularly the need to discuss this from different perspectives.
The Paleolithic is more than just a foundation for world history. 95% or more of all human history took place in the Paleolithic.
This puts into perspective not only the enormous amount of time that humans have been on the Earth and not resembled our current level of technology and civilization, but it also emphasizes just how rapidly we have developed those things and how exponential our growth has been.
You might have heard of the Stone Age; sometimes this term is incorrectly combined or conflated with the Paleolithic. In fact these are just two ways of categorizing human archaeology; the name "stone age" emphasizes the technology we were using, whereas the Paleolithic covers all aspects of human history and evolution during this time period. One significant element of technology in this period is the fact that homo sapiens didn't invent tools or the use of controlled fire; instead they inherited them from other hominid ancestors and improved them.
While modern human history is sometimes correlated with the invention of agriculture, which didn't take place until the Neolithic, there were still many incidences of human development that we normally consider "modern" which had already taken place in the Paleolithic. Relatively complex societies and languages were developing, along with art and crafts, and possibly cooking outside of the roasting of meat.
Another significant development during this period was the migration of humans around the world, and the end of the last Ice Age period altering the climate.
In terms of relevance to world history, the Paleolithic could be considered the dawn of modern humans, and the beginning of our history as a species.