Sapiens: A Brief “History” of Humankind

Harari describes the Cognitive Era as the time between the Big Bang Theory and the Agricultural Revolution. During this era, there were other species of Homo (human) such as Neanderthals and Homo erectus (6-7). Homo sapiens, our species, became the dominant type and took the lead either by Replacing or Interbreeding with the other human species (14-15). After becoming the only Homo species, sapiens began to use language. The language was most likely first used to tell stories or fables about religious phenomenon but later transformed in a way to communicate about the natural world (37). At first homo sapiens gathered and hunted but later this changed. Harari argued people later began to domesticate plants and animals and this was the Agricultural Revolution (77). The most damaging effect of these revolutions were the First and Second Waves of Extinction of plant and animals by the migration of foragers, then farmers (74).

I find some of Harari’s arguments to be persuasive. His ideas of homo sapiens transitioning from hunter-gathers to farmers and the effects on the environment can be backed by a lot of research and archeological findings. I find his arguments about the origin of Homo sapiens to be a little less convincing. First, Harari only contents that the theory of evolution is correct. He will not accept the theory or notions of religion especially regarding god (28, 109). The evidence is shady when it comes to showing there were other human species. Scientists are not even confident if, interbreeding or replacement was what made the other human species go extinct (14-15). I think Harari is mostly stating what he thinks is “truth” when really, he should just be explaining the history backed by theory and not just “facts.” I do not think it is essential to understand why homo sapiens became dominate. It is essential, however, to understand how to change our future from extinction.

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