A Brief History of Humankind Sapiens
Yuval Noah Harari
Contributed by Tereasa Jacob
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Chapter 1

In this topic, Prof. Harari uses the Big Bang theory.  According to him, approximately 13.5 billion years ago, space, time energy and matter began to exist. The coming into being of these phenomena, laid the basis for the development of essential features in the universe. It was the coming into being of these phenomena that gave rise to physics. After coming into existence, Prof. Harari reports that matter and energy joined together to form atoms, these coalesced into molecules. The molecules later, combined to form structures, which are today known as organisms. Ideally, during the development and coalescing of these phenomena, physics, chemistry and biology came into existence. However, the organisms that were formed, belonged to different groups, and there was one that belonged to the Homo sapiens. In about, 700, 000 years ago, the Homo sapiens assumed some structures, which led to the formation of culture. In essence, the development of human cultures was systematic and it never happened in a single day. It took years, for human cultures to develop.   

However, the development of the human culture, then became what is commonly referred to us history. Prof. Harari notes that history was shaped fundamentally by the agricultural, cognitive, and scientific revolutions. These revolutions influenced organisms or humans deeply. Thus, this topic simply acknowledges that the origin of humankind and other organisms began from some simple phenomena like energy and matter, atoms and molecules. Nevertheless, Harari asks “What was the Sapiens’ secret of success?”  This question lays the basis for mental development of human kind. It is factual that sapiens had to have something different from other species.  The different thing according to Harari was that human sapiens had superior knowledge that largely shaped its success.  In addition, Harari (22) states that “Homo sapiens conquered the world thanks above all to its unique language.” It is the language that enabled sapiens to exchange ideas, live together, invent and innovate. Hence, to expound the success of Homo sapiens, Harari examines what he terms as a Tree of Knowledge.


The book basically opens with the origin of organisms from simple phenomena like energy, matter, atoms and molecules. The chronological explanation given in this chapter regarding the coming of organisms into existence, confirm that organisms including Homo sapiens evolved from simple organisms into complex organisms. Ostensibly, the sapiens appeared the most intelligent organisms, and that explains why they formed their own cultures and later became in charge of other organisms. Besides, the author’s presentation of systematic developments or revolution of human cultures and societies presents evolution as an ongoing process. Harari convinces that organisms originated from simple organisms to become complex organisms. This pictures humankind evolution as a process that is gradual, but makes tremendous transformations to human life.

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