Harari: How Far We’ve Come

Bryce Dawkins

Paragraph 1: Evolution brings about many things as we can tell and know from this book. Height changes, bone structure, facial features, muscle mass and density. These are a few of the changes that have happened in the species of Sapiens not all but a few off the top of my head. But the cognitive revolution in my opinion could possibly be one of the biggest given the fact that it seemed to separate the Homo Sapiens from the other former species of humans. I wouldn’t call it a conscious chose, our great ancestors did not sit around a fire and decide on what parts of their body they wanted to be better or more enhanced than others. But there was a so called “chose” made when the evolution of the brain was happening. When I think of the cognitive revolution I picture the beginning of conscious thoughts, planning, communicating more efficiently. When the small statue of the “Lion Man” was found this showed a sign of cognitive revolution, presenting a symbol of higher thinking. It was not proven but this was an example of possible worship of a god or higher spiritual being, proving that our great ancestors had the capability to imagine a being that was not man nor animal but both possibly. Along with evolving physically, and mentally the Sapiens evolved Agriculturally. The sapiens grew tired of inching by regarding feeding themselves so they unlocked the secrets to keeping more people alive in worse conditions. An example would be crops, manipulating plants to grow where they wanted them and when they wanted them was a huge step in a prosperous direction. Also the Sapiens made homes, stayed near their crops at all times, cleared fields to be able to plant crops and even fought one another over land and crops.

Paragraph 2: Harari doesn’t touch on fighting to much that I have noticed and there isn’t enough evidence in the objects found or in the world right now to prove that the Homo Sapiens killed or drove the Neanderthals to extinction. But he brings up some great points, for example he touches on our own insecurities as a species in the present and past. Harari highlights our quick tempers, the fact that race has caused huge conflicts in histories past, dialect and religion have also been the cause of genocides in the world of humans. This statement fascinated me because he wasn’t exactly lying, we as people in the past have fought and killed others over skin color and religion, today present day we as people still act out aggressively very quickly without much thought. It is not absurd to think that the traits from 70,000 years ago are still not prevalent today. Harari also points out that the Neanderthals could have also died off due to the lack of sexual interest the Sapiens had for them. We as people want to mate with those we are most attracted to, so it could be a possibility that the sapiens just didn’t find the Neanderthals appealing leading to no reproduction between the two species and possibly just very little interest in them at all. Along with lack of interest and natural insecurities Harari also mentions that the Sapiens were more proficient hunters and gatherers meaning that the Sapiens could have simply kept to themselves hunted as the pleased and lived a good life while the Neanderthals struggled to feed their own and eventually went hungry and died out. These points all make sense to me, I’m not saying one is more right than the other or that one of these or all these possibilities could be wrong. What I’m saying is that there are multiple theories and questions that we can simply just not answer right now. The simple fact is that we werent there so we don’t know we can only make educated guesses and assumptions.