Chimps Go to Church Too…

Harari says that the Cognitive and Agricultural Revolutions form the basis of our modern civilizations. The Cognitive revolution is best looked at to have started when Homo-Erectus stood upright and using less brawn and more brain. The Cognitive Revolution also brought on the use of fire in several ways like the use of cooking, and self defense from other animals. This made it possible to live longer and gave the Homo-Erectus a longer life-span to become better thinkers which launched the Agricultural Revolution. The Agricultural Revolution is super important because Homo-Erectus prior to the Agricultural Revolution, they would scavenge and hunt for food. Post-Agricultural Revolution everything changed, the way they lived, how long they lived, and how efficient they lived. Both of these Revolutions piggy-backed on each other to launch what we see today in our civilization.


Harari explains that homo-sapiens became dominant from their brain expanding enough to believe in fiction. The fiction gives the brain ideas to believe in like religion, and dreams to connect people by the millions. I get that those things connect people, and makes the homo-sapiens more advanced from the chimpanzees, however I think that idea might be flawed. Yes, it is true that fictional things bring people together, but things that are real can also bring people together too, if not more powerful than the fictional side. In today’s society, sports teams connect people that don’t know each other, and there is nothing fictional about it. Couldn’t it be possible that the reason people were able to congregate in bigger groups because of similar traits in location, or skills and abilities? Harari makes a great point by comparing the mind in today’s society with the Declaration of Independence and comparison with Hammurabi’s code. I really liked his insight on how we invented the word and meaning of liberty, and how it differs from the original Hammurabi’s code. This makes me believe that our invention of ideas and thoughts is more of a modern factor. I totally agree that the brain thinking fictional thoughts and ideas brought people together, but Harari over exaggerates it. 


2 thoughts on “Chimps Go to Church Too…”

  1. I think your reference to sports teams is really interesting, and I have to disagree that they are entirely real and not based in fiction. There are no natural laws that dictate the rules of soccer or tennis; the fanfare, pride, and hero worship are all products of our society collectively deciding that watching and participating in sports is worthwhile. Of course, some sports like archery have roots in real survival skills, but today they have transcended that purpose and are part of a massive, worldwide fiction. But just because they are based in fiction does not mean they aren’t real, and here is the real power of what Harari is saying – that Homo sapiens were able to transfer fiction to reality and use that to cooperate and congregate into today’s world.

  2. I enjoyed your perspective on humans ability to connect and that it might just come from commonalities between skills and location, which i do believe is one way that we can connect. However, I think our ideologies are a bigger common connection between people, in order to have a true connection with other people it is Important to understand their cognitive thinking and their ideas and morals. It is difficult for people to connect on a deeper level if we aren’t able to understand others ideas and their declared meaning behind their lives/ thoughts. I do think that it is easier to make a quick connection with people you have close proximity to, but connections are made based on peoples values, beliefs and thoughts. Or at least that’s how I see it.

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