A Brief History of Humankind is a book by Yuval Noah Harari

The book was first published in Hebrew in Israel in 2011, and in English in 2014. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind shows the history of humankind from the evolution of primitive human species in the Stone Age up to now, focusing on Homo sapiens. Harari’s work surveys its account of human history with three major parts: the Cognitive Revolution (70,000 years ago), the Agricultural Revolution (10,000 years ago), and the Scientific Revolution (500 years ago). These revolutions empowered humans to do something and then Sapiens came to dominate the world, unlike other forms of life.

Around 6 million years ago, human/ape traits emerged and Humans first evolved and divided into species in Africa about 2.5 million years ago. There were at least 6 human species on the Earth, including the Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, and Homo Sapiens and some species lived simultaneously. They all came from the same ancestry but many features differentiated these species. The most important of these features was cognitive thinking and Homo Sapiens used it well.

That is described in the book that an ape may be able to communicate to another ape that there’s a lion by the river, but only a Sapien can imagine and convey that the lion is the guardian spirit of his tribe. The Cognitive Revolution occurred between 70,000 to 30,000 years ago. It allowed Homo Sapiens to communicate at a level never seen before in language. In other words, Sapiens is the only animal that can cooperate flexibly. This separates us from all other animals.

Therefore, Homo sapiens conquered the world thanks to their improved skills.

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About 10,000 years ago, the cognitive revolution was replaced by the agricultural revolution. The Agricultural Revolution occurred independently in many different parts of the world. This revolution was the point at which humans domesticated plants and animals for cultivation. Farming supposedly gave us a better life, but Harari calls it the biggest fraud in history. Because farming led to more food but it also led to poorer nutrition and more diseases with increased population. That was not just for humans, but domesticated animals like cows, sheep, and chickens as well. Later, civilizations emerged and the first writing was found. Ancient writing systems contained different colors and numbers. In the agricultural revolution,  humans invented social hierarchies, inequality, and worries about the future became prevalent to them, with all that, money was created and it was just an intellectual revolution. Over the years, small fragmented cultures have come into larger, more complex cultures due to three unifying factors. These factors were money, empires, and religions. Money was not just an exchange tool for people. In the book, Harari shows us why money works, how it becomes the dominant mode of exchange and how it has affected our values and relationships. Empires were influenced by each other positively and negatively. They created new cultures with the conquered people and regions.

Art, music, governance, and more are the result of empires forming. Religion is the third great unifier of humankind, alongside money and empires. Sapiens transited from animism to don’tpolytheism, dualism, and monotheism. Religions legitimize imagined realities, thus human communities are managed easily. Later, a Variety of “natural law religions” occurred that are popular today like communism, capitalism, and liberalism. With each revolution, Sapiens have happiness? Harari thinks that there is no proof that history is working for the benefit of humans. The years, The Scientific Revolution started in Europe around 500 years ago. Since the Cognitive Revolution, humans have tried to understand the universe. Science brought a massive leap thanks to the scientific revolution and many unclear things were clarified. Since Science shows us its theories using mathematics, religions and previous belief systems showed us their theories using stories. However, science is still driven by economic, political, and religious agendas. Many different ideologies occurred because of the importance of money. Capitalism and imperialism become a great force in the 18th century. For most of human history, per capita, production remained the same, but that was not enough for some.

Modern capitalism has provided the growth of humankind thanks to the creation of credit, which allows you to borrow money now because we collectively trust that the future will be better than the present, but unfortunately, the events don’t happen that way. Populations of big countries spend more money than the amount needed to feed all the hungry in the rest of the world. That creates big inequality in the World. People continued to search for the meaning of life because for our happiness, meaningless life is unacceptable. Many people think the next question we should ask is “What do we want to become?” but the real question we should ask is, “What do we want to want?” Harari concludes that our species’ advancements have but are on the brink of another major transition, as we transcend the boundaries of biology and natural selection and can engage in intelligent design In the book, he shows us the brief history of humankind clearly.

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A Brief History of Humankind is a book by Yuval Noah Harari. (2022, May 13). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-brief-history-of-humankind-is-a-book-by-yuval-noah-harari/

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