Harari states “The Cognitive Revolution is accordingly the point when history declared its independence from biology. (Harari pg. 37). The Cognitive Revolution was really a turning point in the history of homo sapiens. Between 70,000 and 30,000 years ago, humans began to develop new ways of thinking and communicating (Harari pg. 21) These changes really shaped who we are as humans today. There were many benefits that came from increased language and communication skills. Humans began to create complex dialogue to describe not only the environment but also many intangible things as well such as: legends, myths, gods and religions. (Harari pg. 24) This allowed humans to increase in numbers. We went from bands of usually no more than 150 to much larger groups. Our collective intelligence allowed us to coexist in larger numbers and promoted the growth of large populations.
The Agricultural Revolution is described as the point in human history where we moved from hunter gatherers to farmers. We began domesticating plants and animals that were easily manipulated and using them to our advantage. Harari describes this on pg. 79 as “history’s biggest fraud”. I believe by this he means that humans thought that agriculture and farming would make life easier than hunting and gathering. What they didn’t know is that it had the opposite effect. Population and diet were affected heavily due to these changes. Diets became poor, but population growth exploded. With more humans and worse diets, diseases became rampant and children mortality rates sky rocketed. But humans could not go back to their previous ways of hunting and gathering. Too much time had passed and generations had learned to live as farmers and lost the skills necessary to be successful hunters again.