So Long Neanderthals…

The Cognitive Revolution was a period of time between 70,000 and 30,000 when sapiens first began to make boats, oil lamps and other useful things of that nature. It is unclear what sparked this revolution, but one theory suggests that it was an “accidental genetic mutations changed the inner wiring of the brains of Sapiens, enabling them to think in unprecedented ways and to communicate using an altogether new type of language.” (Harari pp. 22) Nonetheless, what is clear is that it forever changed the way we think and it is even suggested that post-Cognitive Revolution Sapiens would be able to learn our language and understand even the most complex scientific principles we have today whereas this would not have been feasible for pre-Cognitive Revolution Sapiens. The Agricultural Revolution took place much later. It was at this time that Sapiens began to abandon their hunter-gatherer lifestyle and start to cultivate both plants and animals. Even though leaving the hunter-gatherer lifestyle turned out to be far more challenging, from this point, there was no turning back. The Agricultural Revolution caused small villages to form, and we began to see a rise in mortality rates because living in close quarters with one another for the first time acted as an incubator for infectious diseases.

From this point onward, Homo Sapiens would forever be the most dominant member of the food chain. I believe we were destined to become dominant (for better or for worse) immediately after the Cognitive Revolution. I feel this way because according to Harari, “[If we were to come across these post Cognitive Revolution Sapiens] we’d be able to explain to them everything we know – from the adventures of Alice in Wonderland to the paradoxes of quantum physics – and they could teach us how their people view the world” (Harari pp. 22). I think imagined orders also played a crucial role in creating an organized society. I am not saying this was a good thing to do and I’m certainly not saying that creating these imagined orders was the only way of going about building a more civilized society; however, it did set us apart from any other species at the time attempting to assert itself as the dominant. I feel as though the Agricultural revolution was less important in a developmental sense and Harari even said that it only made the lives of the people of that time far more difficult.

1 thought on “So Long Neanderthals…”

  1. A good over all summer of Harari point made in his book. Could use some more thought and out side influence to spice it up a bit.

    By the way, woopin this boy in Catan right now.

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