Yuval Noah Harari on the #Cognitive Revolution

lion-man-main

Three important revolutions shaped the course of history: the Cognitive Revolution kick-started history about 70,000 years ago. The Agricultural Revolution sped it up about 12,000 years ago. The Scientific Revolution, which got under way only 500 years ago, may well end history and start something completely different. 

 

The most important thing to know about prehistoric humans is that they were insignificant animals with no more impact on their environment than gorillas, fireflies or jellyfish. 

 

The period from about 70,000 years ago to about 30,000 years ago witnessed the invention of boats, oil lamps, bow and arrows and needles (essential for sewing warm clothing). The first objects that can reliably be called art date from this era (see the Stradel lion-man…) 

 

The appearance of new ways of thinking and communicating, between 70,000 and 30,000 years ago, constitutes the Cognitive Revolution… The most commonly believed theory argues that accidental genetic mutations changed the inner wiring of the brains of Sapiens, enabling them to think in unprecedented ways and to communication using an altogether new type of language.

– Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A brief history of humankind (2011, tr. 2014)

The photo isn’t mine, I found it on the web. The lion man is 32,000 years old. I find it wonderful.

Published by

Paul Hodson

Head of Unit "EnergyEfficiency" at European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

One thought on “Yuval Noah Harari on the #Cognitive Revolution”

  1. Or posѕibly he likes bowling.? Lee continued. ?I heard someone say that whenever you hear thunder, that means that God
    is bowling in heaven. Ι bet he is really good at it.

    Like

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