Homo Sapiens and the rise to power

Harari argues that the Cognitive and Agricultural revolutions are the foundations for modern society.  The author explains that the first human species evolved 2.5 million years ago in what is now known as Africa.  There were originally more human species than just homo sapiens. The main species were homo sapiens and homo neanderthals.  Homo sapiens were quite unremarkable until about 70,000 years ago when man first discovered how to control fire. The discovery of controlled flame sparked the Cognitive revolution.  The discovery of fire which allowed us to cook food and harness more energy from it allowed humans to be more efficient and aided in brain growth and development. This discovery allowed humans to become more efficient hunters and through time and a combination of interbreeding and out competing the other human species we evolved into the dominant human species.  The Agricultural revolution began about 10,000 years ago when the cognitive revolution ended. Humans began to devote most of their time in developing livestock and crops instead of the former method of hunting and gathering although hunting and gathering still remained the primary sources of food gathering in societies where the land was not as hospitable to agriculture.  This agricultural revolution led to fixed cities and villages to arise and for societies to form around them.


Harari explains that humans became dominant by our competing or interbreeding with homo neanderthals.  Over thousands of years this led to homo sapiens becoming dominant and the other species of humans being eliminated by competition.  Harari makes very good arguments and provides logical explanations of how humans became dominant. The author explains how myths provided the first codes of civilization and justice systems to uphold the new societies.  I for one am convinced of his argument in how humans became dominant. I think humans became dominant by out competing more than interbreeding. It seems to be the most compelling argument and it still shows into the modern era.  Societies and species that are able to out hunt, out breed, or simply kill off competition, become the dominant societies.


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