The Sapien Effect

1.The Cognitive Revolution which happened around 70’000 B.C. was when sapiens had developed imagination. It was also the start of fictive language. The Agricultural Revolution was around 12,000 B.C. It was the start of domestication of plants and animals. Permanent settlements also began. Both the Cognitive and Agricultural revolutions helped humankind spread across the globe and evolve humans at a growing rate. It kick started the human evolution faster. Clothing, boats, tools and accessories were invented and made. We also see the development of religion, art, trading and social structure. During these periods we also developed “culture” and diversity. All these things affected human civilization. It’s all the things that we still use in modern civilization. The start of social structure and different cultures is what we have in modern day. We still have commerce and class division. The beginning development of Cognitive and Agriculture revolution is still what we use and possess today. We wouldn’t be where we are today if not for these developments in human civilization.     

2. Harari explains this by pretty much saying human rights is an imagined order. Homo sapiens has no natural rights in the same way animals have no natural rights. He also explains gravity as a natural order will not exist tomorrow and in contrast an imagined order is only valid because enough people will believe in it (Harari, p.158). Writing has helped humankind pass down these imagined orders. Harari’s arguments are compelling. I just don’t know if it’s all about superior social skills within homo sapiens. I’m skeptical about Harari’s argument. I think homo sapiens became dominant by the aggression of that time period. It was a different world back then more raw and brutal.  


1 thought on “The Sapien Effect”

  1. Sage- nice synthesis of Harari, although in your second paragraph I think what you meant to say is that gravity, as a natural order, WILL exist tomorrow whether or not people believe in it. Natural orders are not contingent on belief in them like imagined orders are. I’m curious what you mean by “the aggression of that time period”- isn’t life a struggle no matter what time period you’re living in? When you say “raw and brutal,” I think you’re intimating that the nature of the aggression has changed since the Cognitive and Agricultural revolutions. We have new circumstances and new problems, and maybe the aggression has become more complex and even insidious. It’s important to note that besides belief in them, imagined orders also require force and bloodshed to be sustained. This might not be as obvious or visible to us in the United States today, as it was in the days of kings and empires. It is a terrifying prospect to consider what coercive forces and bloodshed are necessary to sustain the imagined orders of our culture today. I recommend John Perkins’ book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. Anyway, maintain that healthy skepticism. Isn’t Harari great food for thought? 🙂

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