Viva La Revolución

The Cognitive and Agricultural Revolutions were both pivotal times in the evolution of us as Homo Sapiens. The Cognitive Revolution consists of our shift toward the development of unique cognitive functions and more advanced brains than other animals or even our other human cousins. This revolution is more of a foundational setting-up of the building blocks that eventually gave us our modern civilization and set us apart from others of the genus Homo. In my opinion, the most important thing that came out of the Cognitive Revolution is the Homo Sapiens’ ability to communicate and organize large groups and even unite them around a single cause or belief (Harari, 37). Our ability to speak of things which our senses have never experienced, which stemmed from the Cognitive Revolution, is unique to Homo Sapiens, and has also proven to be very important. The Agricultural Revolution marks a shift toward growing our own food and being able to live a more stable, sedentary lifestyle but created social hierarchies and early socioeconomic status (Harari, 79). This shift also gave Homo Sapiens and the need to worry about and plan for the future, as the practice of farming can be affected by countless predictable and unpredictable factors.

Harari believes that Homo Sapiens became dominant partly due to the results of the Cognitive Revolution. With the ability to think about imaginary entities, comes the ability to organize individuals into imaginary orders. I agree with Harari that organization is critical, and that this ability to organize many people probably allowed us to become dominant and to conquer. I am a bit skeptical about Harari’s ideas that myth underlies all human unity and ability to organize, but I think this is simply because it is a hard idea to wrap one’s head around and it seems like eventually if you think hard enough you could find an exception. Overall, Harari’s ideas are very thought-provoking, sort of exciting, and sometimes a bit painful, which makes them enjoyable to think about.

2 thoughts on “Viva La Revolución”

  1. I agree with your skepticism about myth underlying all parts of human existence. I think that there are certainly some parts of humanity that are ruled by myth, but I’m not sure that all parts of existence are. It’s possible that I think this, because as you say, it is a hard and tricky idea to wrap one’s head around. However, I would perhaps argue that the reason behind human dominance over the earth is the development of language. I do agree that the ability to organize in large groups was important to Homo sapiens becoming the dominant species, but I think that language played an equal, or even more important part in that dominance. I liked what you said about how our language is our ability to speak of things that our senses have never experienced. I think that’s such a cool way of looking at Homo sapiens language. Really great blog post, I enjoyed reading!

  2. Hi Madalyn! How’s everything going? I like the way you reflect the ideas of both the Cognitive and the Agricultural Revolutions. The former was very important as it made us be able to communicate to other Sapiens and develop a language with which interact and describe many aspects of us. In addition, the Agricultural Revolution, as you mention, made us sedentary people as we established our properties to work on the land.

    According to the second paragraph, I also agree that with the Cognitive Revolution, we were able to be dominants thanks to the imagined orders we made up. These would lead us to build up communities that shared the same myth, religion… Furthermore, I also have the same feel that your highlight, the Harari’s critical commentaries make me be so anxious to keep up the reading.

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