Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Rating: 5/5

We typically hold the view that we’re the only variation of human that has ever and will ever walk this planet. InĀ Sapiens, author Yuval Noah Harari describes the rise of our species Sapien in relationship to other members of the Homo genus. It’s an absolutely enthralling read, and I highly recommend picking it up. I listened to it on audio, and I was mesmerized the entire time.

Some interesting facts about the rise of Homo Sapiens:

  • Until recently, Homo Sapiens were in the middle of the food chain. We would watch lions take down large game. Then, we would let hyenas pull apart the carcass. Finally, we would come in an eat what was left including the marrow from bones. We rose to the top with the invention of tools like guns.
  • Homo Sapiens took over from Homo neanderthalensis and other species through one of two ways (the debate still continues). The replacement theory states that we either outperformed them (faster at foraging for food, for example), which led to their eventual starvation, or killed them outright in war. The mating hypothesis states that we mated with these other species, and in fact, the current version of Homo sapien is a mixture of the original sapiens plus some DNA from other species.