The Cognitive and Agricultural Revolutions helped shape human history. The Cognitive Revolution happened between 70,000-30,000 years ago, and it was the emergence of new ways of thinking and communicating among humans of the time (Harari, p. 21). The Agricultural Revolution was the transition from hunting and gathering to farming (Harari, p. 79). These revolutions had a large effect on the development of human civilizations. The Cognitive Revolution led to the ability to form larger social groups, to carry out more complex activities, to cooperate with strangers and to develop new social behaviors. These new abilities allowed Homo sapiens to thrive, and to develop into the civilizations we see today. The Agricultural Revolution made the future more important than ever. Farmers had to think, plan and worry, so food would be available in the future. This in turn led to social and political systems where elites took surplus foods, and left farmers with barely enough to survive. This eventually led to many things; art, palaces, politics and war. The food that was produced by the many led to the rise of the few, and those are the people we read about in history; the rulers, not the peasants.
Harari believes that Homo sapiens became dominant because they developed unique language. Humans imagine fictions collectively, and cooperate with large numbers of people; Harari argues, this is why sapiens are the dominant species on earth. I think Harari’s argument that language is the reason for our dominance is interesting. I found that I agreed with Harari when he said that humans’ cooperation is largely due to ever-changing imagined realities/myths. I was skeptical about language being the sole reason for Homo sapiens dominance. I think sapiens became dominant with a combination of language and the ability to organize in large groups.