One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

The Cognitive Revolution was one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind. In Sapiens, Harari described the Cognitive Revolution as “the appearance of new ways of thinking and communicating” (p. 21).  This affected the development of human civilizations immensely – it created a way of communicating with one another effectively to transfer information, thus creating social relationships; it gave way to critical thinking and skepticism. This revolution was the stepping stone to everything we are now. But, the cognitive revolution led to, what Harari suggests, miscalculations such as the Agricultural Revolution – a time when Sapiens “devoted almost all of their time and effort to manipulating the lives of a few animals and species” (p. 77). This created the ability for mass reproduction in populations due to more food in a more convenient manner. It changed the hunter-gatherer forever, and it led to coevolution of a couple plants and a couple animals. This revolution, like the Cognitive Revolution giving stepping stones, gave Sapiens bridges.

Harari explains why homo Sapiens became dominant: we drove every other human species to extinction with their hunting skills and greater social skills; we also could have competed for resources and had a war-like mindset crossing anyone who did not look like us (p. 17-18). I think this is in relation to imagined orders because it is how most people think about evolution of humans – we were the most important and only kind. I think majority of Harari’s writing in Sapiens is persuasive, knowledgeable, and has a lot of proof to it. I found myself agreeing with the fact that it was all just chance – this push in our species versus any other Homo species happened from pure chance. Crazy, isn’t it?

 

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