One factor leads to another…

  1. The Cognitive Revolution occurred 70,000 – 30,000 years ago, prompted by the discovery of fire, which allowed early humans to cook food, reducing how much energy our bodies spent digesting, which allowed more energy to be sent to our brains. At this time, we developed cloth, needles, boots, tents, lamps, knives, spears, hammers, axes, art, and jewelry. A larger brain means better communication, collaboration, and organization, especially in larger groups. We also gained an imagination, and through imagination, we were able to create myths which facilitated ideas of fairness and justice, allowing us to live peacefully in larger groups.
  2. The Agricultural Revolution began 10,000 years ago, when Sapiens transitioned to growing plants and domesticating animals. This revolution completely changed these early peoples’ way of life, creating economic and social security. Harari argues that plants may have manipulated early humans just as equally as early humans manipulated plants, with the example of wheat and it’s enormous success through to the modern world.
  3. Harari argues that Homo Sapiens became dominant through a variety of factors, including our ability to imagine, to communicate with group members, and to cooperate and work together towards a larger goal. These abilities all stemmed from the Cognitive Revolution, and were essential in the Agricultural Revolution. Humans create myths, which allows us to create hierarchies and social systems, and these social systems allow us to cooperate effectively. Better cooperation equals more food equals larger groups equals need for more space equals spreading population.