The Cognitive and Agricultural Revolutions were both pivotal times in the evolution of us as Homo Sapiens. The Cognitive Revolution consists of our shift toward the development of unique cognitive functions and more advanced brains than other animals or even our other human cousins. This revolution is more of a foundational setting-up of the building blocks that eventually gave us our modern civilization and set us apart from others of the genus Homo. In my opinion, the most important thing that came out of the Cognitive Revolution is the Homo Sapiens’ ability to communicate and organize large groups and even unite them around a single cause or belief (Harari, 37). Our ability to speak of things which our senses have never experienced, which stemmed from the Cognitive Revolution, is unique to Homo Sapiens, and has also proven to be very important. The Agricultural Revolution marks a shift toward growing our own food and being able to live a more stable, sedentary lifestyle but created social hierarchies and early socioeconomic status (Harari, 79). This shift also gave Homo Sapiens and the need to worry about and plan for the future, as the practice of farming can be affected by countless predictable and unpredictable factors.
Harari believes that Homo Sapiens became dominant partly due to the results of the Cognitive Revolution. With the ability to think about imaginary entities, comes the ability to organize individuals into imaginary orders. I agree with Harari that organization is critical, and that this ability to organize many people probably allowed us to become dominant and to conquer. I am a bit skeptical about Harari’s ideas that myth underlies all human unity and ability to organize, but I think this is simply because it is a hard idea to wrap one’s head around and it seems like eventually if you think hard enough you could find an exception. Overall, Harari’s ideas are very thought-provoking, sort of exciting, and sometimes a bit painful, which makes them enjoyable to think about.