The Cognitive Revolution was a large turning point for homo sapiens. It marked when sapiens gained enough intelligence to imagine things that didn’t exist or were more abstract, before this no animals could have imaginary friends. But imagined more than friends, according to Harari, “The immense diversity of imagined realities that Sapiens invented and the resulting diversity of behavior patterns, are the main components of what we call ‘cultures’.” (Harari, Pg. 41) I agree with this because without our ability to believe in things that don’t physically exist, like governments, deities, and time modern culture would not exist. The Agricultural Revolution played an equally as important role in laying down the foundation for modern civilization. For “2.5 million years humans” (Harari, Pg. 80.) were mainly foragers and hunters, but “all this changed about 10,000 years ago, when Sapiens began to devote almost all their time and effort to manipulating the lives of a few animal and plant species.” (Harari, Pg,80) For whatever reason, after millions of years of foraging, sapiens decided to start cultivating plants and animals, which led to them building permanent settlements. These settlements quickly became bigger and more complex with laws and social orders possible due to the Cognitive Revolution.
I find Harari’s argument very persuasive, because it points out a fundamental difference between us and other animals; the ability to communicate and think about things that are imagined or abstract. Which seems most likely true but I would like to know if we are really the only animal that can do that. I found his argument about the Agricultural Revolution compelling as well. Although the idea that we couldn’t have modern society without agriculture isn’t crazy it was very interesting reading a timeline of how we got there. I would like a better understanding of why we transitioned from foragers to farmers, but there is no written evidence from that time so it is hard for historians to study. Overall I found Harari’s argument convincing but thought some areas still need to be researched more.