fbpx
士 THE GOOD ONE Logo

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Feb 24, 2020

Harari’s work situates its account of human history within a framework provided by the natural sciences, particularly evolutionary biologyevolutionary anthropology, and evolutionary psychology: he sees biology as setting the limits of possibility for human activity, and sees culture as shaping what happens within those bounds. The academic discipline of history is the account of cultural change.

Harari surveys the history of humankind from the evolution of archaic human species in the Stone Age up to the twenty-first century, focusing on Homo sapiens. He divides the history of Sapiens into four major parts:[4]

  1. The Cognitive Revolution (c. 70,000 BCE, when Sapiens evolved imagination).
  2. The Agricultural Revolution (c. 10,000 BCE, the development of agriculture).
  3. The unification of humankind (the gradual consolidation of human political organisations towards one global empire).
  4. The Scientific Revolution (c. 1500 CE, the emergence of objective science).

Harari’s main argument is that Sapiens came to dominate the world because it is the only animal that can cooperate flexibly in large numbers. He argues that prehistoric Sapiens were a key cause of the extinction of other human species such as the Neanderthals, along with numerous other megafauna. He further argues that the ability of Sapiens to cooperate in large numbers arises from its unique capacity to believe in things existing purely in the imagination, such as godsnationsmoney, and human rights. He argues that these beliefs give rise to discrimination – whether that be racial, sexual or political and it is potentially impossible to have a completely unbiased society. Harari claims that all large-scale human cooperation systems – including religionspolitical structurestrade networks, and legal institutions – owe their emergence to Sapiens’ distinctive cognitive capacity for fiction.[5] Accordingly, Harari regards money as a system of mutual trust and sees political and economic systems as more or less identical with religions.

Harari’s key claim regarding the Agricultural Revolution is that while it promoted population growth for Sapiens and co-evolving species like wheat and cows, it made the lives of most individuals (and animals) worse than they had been when Sapiens were mostly hunter-gatherers, since their diet and daily lives became significantly less varied. Humans’ violent treatment of other animals is a theme that runs throughout the book.

In discussing the unification of humankind, Harari argues that over its history, the trend for Sapiens has increasingly been towards political and economic interdependence. For centuries, the majority of humans have lived in empires, and capitalist globalization is effectively producing one, global empire. Harari argues that money, empires, and universal religions are the principal drivers of this process.

Harari sees the Scientific Revolution as founded on innovation in European thought, whereby elites became willing to admit to, and hence to try to remedy, their ignorance. He sees this as one driver of early modern European imperialism and of the current convergence of human cultures. Harari also emphasises the lack of research into the history of happiness, positing that people today are not significantly happier than in past eras.[6] He concludes by considering how modern technology may soon end the species as we know it, as it ushers in genetic engineeringimmortality, and non-organic life. Humans have, in Harari’s chosen metaphor, become gods: they can create species.

Harari cites Jared Diamond‘s Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) as one of the greatest inspirations for the book by showing that it was possible to “ask very big questions and answer them scientifically”.[7]

Read more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapiens:_A_Brief_History_of_Humankind
https://www.ynharari.com/book/sapiens/

OUR MISSION

There are millions of good people out there. And we all have the same goal. We want to make this world a better place. Join us now.

The sad thing is: with morals and conscience every generation starts from scratch. Mankind develops rapidly in research and science. But character and moral, here we are not any further as we were in Roman times. — 士 Jürgen Todenhöfer

The sad thing is: with morals and conscience every generation starts from scratch. Mankind develops rapidly in research and science. But character and moral, here we are not any further as we were in Roman times. — 士 Jürgen Todenhöfer

Thoughts on GOOD vs. BAD

Read an excellent piece of real research on this topic on Aeon or listen to the audio version of this article on Curio. Or this piece about "Why doing good makes it easier to be bad" from Nautilus Magazine.

KIALO

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MifNyU49_JA Kialo is a perfect example how the power of reason can lead the future for human development. Especially in times where populists are trying hard to gain ground. Join this global discussion on the major topics from all...

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. — 士 John C. Maxwell

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. — 士 John C. Maxwell

Banksy

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director, active since the 1990s.[2] His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark...

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. — 士 Michael Jordan

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying. — 士 Michael Jordan

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan. — 士 Larry Winget

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan. — 士 Larry Winget

Milen Vrabevski

Milen Vrabevski (Bulgarian: Милен Врабевски) is a Bulgarian businessman, philanthropist and patron of the arts. He is Founding Chairman of the Bulgarian Memory Foundation, established in 2007 to support educational initiatives focused on the...

New York Hero Saves Young Life

Julio De Leon, who takes a weekly bike ride across the George Washington Bridge, sprang into action when he saw that a man had climbed over the rail. Credit: Benjamin Norman for The New York Times Read the full article here:...

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. — C. G. Jung

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. — C. G. Jung
%d bloggers like this: