Started From the Bottom (Or really the middle I suppose)

As explained by Harari, the cognitive revolution was when Homo Sapiens first began to articulate thoughts of a higher order. This kind of thought propelled us up the food chain, allowing for communities that could interact and communicate in ways that neither prey or predator could compete with. Language played a large role in this development, with the versatility of emerging human languages enabling the growth of peoples that thought not just in terms of objective reality, but with capacity to think of the surreal. As cognizance created a uniquely powerful form of life, through agriculture those lifeforms created society as we know it. Whether intentional or not, the decision to settle down and cultivate the land led to the creation of all the structures and functions of society as we know it. None of our accomplishments, or failures, would have been possible if a hunter gatherer society had persisted.

Harari argues that it was because of these revolutions, and how they affected humans, that we became the dominant species we are. Unlike every other animal, we possess an infinite capacity for imagination, and that ability allowed us to grow into larger, more cohesive societies. The existence of imagined orders like law and religion allowed even unfamiliar individuals to coexist and work together. I think this is a very well put together argument. Every aspect of it makes sense, and it is supported by solid reasoning and historical evidence. That being said, I don’t think that our capacity for unique thought is the sole reason for our ascendency. While it no doubt played a large role, one cannot discount that certain environmental factors played an equally crucial one. For instance, had this same cognitive prowess evolved among marine life, it seems doubtful that history would have played out the same.

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