How We Became the Rulers of the World

The Cognitive Revolution is a time when homo sapiens became capable of fictional thought. Fictional thought allowed them to do 3 new things very well, that were impossible before. First, they could share large quantities of information about the world around them. Second, this new way of thinking allowed them to gather in larger groups. Third, they were capable of sharing information that didn’t really exist, such as spirituality, nations, and human rights. About 10,000 years ago the Agriculture Revolution happened, and homo sapiens went from being foragers for food, to farmers. Before this all food was hunted and gathered from its natural form for consumption. After the agriculture revolution homo sapiens spent most of their time manipulating just a few species of plants and animals for its main source of food. The cognitive revolution allowed homo sapiens to live in larger groups while the agriculture revolution allowed homo sapiens to stay in places permanently. When you combine these two revolutions you start to see the creation of villages, towns, etc.


Harari explains that homo sapiens were able to become the dominant species thanks to their new skills of cognitive and social abilities. Harari states, “Sapiens were more proficient hunters and gathers – thanks to better technology and superior social skills” (Harari, p. 17). I agree with almost everything Harari writes, except for his explanations of why in general it has been better to be a male than a female in our civilizations since the agriculture revolution. It seems to me there is not enough evidence, and we just don’t have the information needed to explain this fact.

I believe homo sapiens became dominate because they used critical thinking, and advanced communication skills to kill off all other homo genre species that were threatening their food supplies.