Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

Download Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF book free by Yuval Noah Harari – From Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF: From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” GET FREE AUDIOBOOK

Summary of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

This is my summary of Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens. My notes are casual, and they frequently include both passages from the book and my own opinions. This summary also contains key takeaways and key excerpts from the book.

Around 70,000 years ago, human cultures began to emerge.
The cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, and the scientific revolution are the three major revolutions in human history.
Humans were no more important or impressive than other mammals in prehistoric times (2 million years or so).
“Wise man” is the meaning of Homo Sapiens.

Humans initially appeared 2.5 million years ago in Africa.
The author argues that Homo sapiens will not be able to exist for another 1,000 years.
Multiple human species walked the globe together from roughly 2 million years ago to 10,000 years ago. Human evolution is wrongly depicted as a linear progression when depicting man’s evolution from bent over to upright. In reality, the two species coexisted.
Humans have enormous brains in comparison to their body size.
Human brains are only 2% to 3% of the total body weight, but they consume 25% of the energy.
Until 400,000 years ago, humans were firmly rooted in the middle of the food chain, and it wasn’t until 100,000 years ago that they ascended to the top.
The majority of species at the top of the food chain have evolved over millions of years. Humans, on the other hand, rose to the top very quickly. This meant that neither the remainder of the food chain nor we were prepared. Because we aren’t used to being at the top, we are anxious and stressed.
The introduction of fire and the ability to prepare food may have facilitated the evolution of a smaller digestive tract and a larger brain.

Interbreeding hypothesis and Replacement theory are two hypotheses about how Homo sapiens evolved. The truth is most likely a mix of both theories.
“They were too familiar to ignore, but too different to endure,” perhaps explains why Homo sapiens killed out the Neanderthals.
Humans’ last dwarf species perished 12,000 years ago.
Because of its unique language, Homo sapiens dominated the world.
Between 70,000 and 30,000 years ago, the Cognitive Revolution happened. It enabled Homo sapiens to communicate at a level that had never been witnessed before in the history of language.
Only Homo sapiens, as far as we know, can speak about things they have never seen, felt, or smelled. Religions, myths, stories, and fantasies come to mind.
The telling of myths and stories enables big groups of Homo sapiens to collaborate in remarkably flexible ways. This is what distinguishes us from all other animals.
Chimps are unable to create groups of more than 50 individuals. The average human group size is around 150 people. You can’t rely on rumour or personal communication after that. To attract huge groups of people to collaborate, you’ll need something more.

By sharing common stories and beliefs, a large group of individuals may work together.
Stories are referred to as fictions, social constructs, or imagined realities in scholarly circles.
Because the entire community believes it, an imagined reality is not a falsehood.
Humans have been living in a dual world since the Cognitive Revolution: physical reality and imagined reality.
By modifying the stories we tell as myths, we can influence how people cooperate.
Because Homo sapiens shared stories were not founded on genetics, they were able to adjust and change their behavior as soon as they accepted their new belief. They didn’t have to wait millions of years for a genetic mutation to occur.
Only Homo sapiens are capable of conducting trade.
As far that we know, 30,000-year-old humans had the same physical, emotional, and cognitive skills as we do today.
According to evolutionary psychology, the majority of our psychology evolved prior to the Agricultural Revolution roughly 10,000 years ago.
The desire to eat high-calorie foods is hard-wired into our DNA.
There hasn’t been a single dominant mode of living for all humankind since the Agricultural Revolution. Only a variety of cultural possibilities have been available.
Around 15,000 years ago, mankind domesticated the first animal, the dog.
There was relatively little privacy in ancient human communities (about 10,000 years ago), but there was also very little loneliness.

Most of our ancient forefathers and mothers had a much broader and more in-depth understanding of their physical surroundings than we have. They weren’t stupid in the least.
Today’s human population knows significantly more than the entire population of 15,000 years ago. Individually, though, we are considerably more specialized today. The most knowledgeable and skilled people in history were ancient foragers.
Today, passing on “unremarkable” genes is far easier than it was 10,000 years ago.
One of the major gaps in our understanding of human history is our lack of knowledge about primitive faiths and beliefs.
One of the most momentous missions in history was humans crossing the sea and settling in Australia. It was the time when humans solidified their position at the top of the food chain.
Around 16,000 years ago, Homo sapiens arrived in America for the first time.
The colonization of America – from the Siberian peninsula to Alaska, Canada, and the United States, down through Mexico and Central America to the Andes and Amazon, and all the way to the southernmost tip of South America – was one of the world’s most rapid and incredible invasions by a single species.
Surprisingly, the Agricultural Revolution occurred in many different places of the world at the same time.
There is no proof that modern humans have gotten smarter over time.
At first, the Agricultural Revolution did not improve the lives of ordinary people. It did, however, enable humans to harvest more food per unit area, resulting in exponential population growth.
Surprisingly, the first several thousand years of the Agricultural Revolution actually made life more difficult for people by introducing more work, less leisure, and a soaring population that required more food. Because the incremental changes were so modest, each generation did not see how their lives were deteriorating.
The tendency for luxuries to become necessities and to generate new obligations is one of history’s few iron laws. When people start to appreciate new luxuries, they tend to expect them and come to expect them.
On a personal level, the Agricultural Revolution’s evolutionary triumph (larger population) was actually a source of immense sorrow. Domesticated animals such as cows, lambs, and poultry benefit from it as well.
With the arrival of the Agricultural Revolution, people began to be concerned about the future: the weather, crop yields this year, and so on.

So much of what we believe and do is dictated by the stories that surround us and make up our lives.
Most individuals, like the ancient Egyptians, devote their life to the construction of pyramids. The names, shapes, and sizes of the pyramids differ from one civilization to the next.
You must first find a group that believes in the current imagined order in order to change it. Previous myths must be built upon or evolved into new myths.
The primary goal of writing is to keep track of numbers, which human brains were not designed to handle well. Our brains are far better at recalling biological, zoological, and social information than other mammals.
The Incas used a quipu writing system, which is an ancient writing system. They are a series of colored knots and strings that represent words and numbers, rather than written words.
Writing has had a significant impact on how people think. We can think more categorically than ever before via writing and record keeping.
The most widely spoken language on the planet is numbers.
Human creations include social hierarchy, inequality, and so on.
The majority of wealthy people come from wealthy households. The majority of poor people are born into impoverished families.
Unfair prejudice frequently worsens rather than improves over time.
There were still 53 countries in 2006 where a husband could not be prosecuted for raping his wife.
When it comes to gender inequity, nature allows it but culture prevents it. The concept of “abnormal” conduct is a product of Christian theology rather than biology.
It is natural if it is biologically possible. Two males having sex is natural from a scientific standpoint. It is not natural to travel at the speed of light.
Why are men regarded as more valuable than women in many cultures?
Inconsistencies abound in all human cultures. Individual liberty and equality are valued in the United States, for example. However, these two concepts do not always get along. To reconcile them is a part of the human experience. These contradictions aren’t always a bad thing. They compel us to consider things critically. The playground of stupid minds is consistency.
History is continually pushing toward unification. The entire globe is evolving toward a single global culture.
Money was created only as a result of an intellectual revolution. Except in our brains, it does not exist.
More than 90% of all money is made up of electronic data rather than real currency.
Everyone wants money for the same reason that everyone else wants money.
For the last 2,500 years, empires have been the most common type of political organization on the planet.
Uprisings do not, in general, cause empires to fall. They are nearly usually defeated by outside invasion or internal divisions within the empower class.
Most of what we consider to be “our culture” was imposed on us by previous empires that conquered our forefathers.
Despite the obvious drawbacks of empires assuming control of a society, there are numerous advantages. Empires produce art, music, governance, and other things. They frequently mixed new with vanquished people to form a new culture.
It appears that we are rapidly approaching a single worldwide empire. Global markets, global warming, and widely recognized notions such as human rights all point to the necessity for a single collective body, rather than individual states and countries.
Along with money and empires, religion is the third great unifier of humanity.
A Religious Revolution paralleled the Agricultural Revolution.
Even though we frequently regard polytheism as more primitive and ignorant than our current views, it is more open and welcoming of multiple ideas.
Monotheism may appear to push polytheism aside, yet it is actually quite similar to polytheistic gods in terms of patron saints. Praying to the patron saints of farmers isn’t all that different from praying to the rain deity.
The basic conflict in monotheism is how to deal with the fact that there is evil in the universe, despite the fact that the omnipotent God is thought to be good and compassionate. Why would God allow evil to occur if he is good?
Even the wealthy and famous are rarely content.
In all conditions, the mind instinctively seeks more, according to Buddhist tradition. And yearning is the source of all pain.
Today, a number of “natural law religions” such as communism, capitalism, and liberalism are prevalent.
Hormones, DNA, and brain synapses have all had a role in human behavior during the previous 200 years, according to scientists. How much longer will we overlook the fact that biology does not agree with the concept of free will if this is true?
Reconstructing the set of particular events that led from one point to another is what it means to describe how something happened.
To explain why anything happened, you must first identify the causal links that lead to this specific set of events at the expense of all others.
The more you learn about a certain period of history, the more difficult it gets to explain why one conclusion occurred over another.
It is an unavoidable rule of history that what appears clear in retrospect is impossible to foresee in advance.
There are two types of Chaotic Systems: level one and level two. Level one is unresponsive to forecasts, such as the weather and weather forecasts. Level two reacts to forecasts about it, such as stock market fluctuations and expert reports about rising oil prices.
There is no evidence that history works in humans’ favor or that human well-being improves through time. It benefits the winners, but is it beneficial to all of us?
Around 500 years ago, the Scientific Revolution began in Europe. Human impact has increased at an unparalleled rate in the last 500 years.
One distinction between religion and science is that science acknowledges that humanity does not have solutions to many of life’s most pressing concerns. Religion, on the other hand, presupposes that the crucial information has already been discovered. Human ignorance is assumed in science.
More than any prior society, modern culture has been able to confess ignorance.
Stories were used to assemble hypotheses in previous cultures and belief systems. Mathematics is used to compile science’s theories.
The story of how Scottish Widows came to be is a fantastic illustration of the power of chance.
No theory is 100 percent correct, according to scientists. As a result, the true test of knowledge is utility rather than truth. Science empowers us. The greater the science, the more beneficial that power is.
The military arms race propels research forward at a breakneck pace. The truth is that conflict leads to several scientific breakthroughs.
In the past, the brightest minds of the day strived to develop new methods to make dying meaningful. Our brightest minds are currently working to avert death by biological, hormonal, and genetic approaches. Death is not viewed as an inevitability in science.
Economic, religious, and political interests that influence the flow of funds into scientific and technical research have a significant impact on science’s output.
It’s not enough to think about science in isolation. What we research and what we do with the research findings, for example, are determined by economic and capitalistic objectives.
Why were the Americas discovered and conquered by Europeans? Why not the Chinese, Indians, and people from the Middle East, who had access to the same knowledge and technology as the Europeans? The fundamental distinction was the European philosophy of globe exploration.
Per capita production has stayed constant for most of human history. However, since the birth of capitalism, per capita production has risen dramatically.
Credit, which allows you to borrow money now because we collectively believe that the future will be better than the present, has inflated the rise of humanity in modern capitalism.
In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith made the astute observation that increasing private profits is the foundation for increasing common wealth and prosperity. To put it another way, growing wealthier benefits everyone, not just yourself. Each party receives a larger slice of pie. (Note that this strategy only works if gains are reinvested rather than hoarded.)
Profits must be re-invested in fresh production for capitalism to work.
Capitalism’s “religion” declares that economic expansion is preeminent because it is necessary for justice, freedom, and happiness.
All of the credit is dependent on the assumption that science and technology will progress. Capitalism is ultimately paid for by scientists.
The average Englishman’s annual sugar consumption increased from almost zero in the early 17th century to 18 pounds in the early 19th century.
Despite exponential population expansion, the average person’s life expectancy, child mortality, and calorie intake have all improved dramatically since 1914.
Human activity was mostly influenced by sun energy and plant growth until the industrial revolution. Both during the day and at night Summer and winter are two distinct seasons. Everything was based on man and animal power, which was based on food, which was based on photosynthesis.
“A desire shaped in the wild continues to be felt subjectively even though it is no longer truly vital for survival and reproduction,” says one evolutionary psychologist.
Animals have strong psychological as well as purgative bodily demands, according to Harlow’s infant monkey research from the 1950s (and a variety of follow-up investigations). Note to self: never underestimate the importance of your psychological needs.
Every year, the population of the United States spends more money on diets than is required to feed all of the world’s hungry.
The majority of people are unaware of how tranquil our times are.
In recent years, suicide has claimed the lives of more people than war and violent crime. Car accidents are the same way.
Living in a safe neighborhood, driving as little as possible, and loving yourself are all good things to do. Localized violence, car accidents, and suicide are among the leading causes of death in humans.
Because the costs of war have increased due to nuclear weapons, the benefits of war have decreased because physical resources drive less of the economy and international trade is more lucrative than conquest, and international connections have tightened because a worldwide culture is less likely to battle itself, war is at an all-time low.
Recent events have had a significant impact on our perception of the past.
Researchers have looked at almost every facet of history, but just a few have explored if historical changes have made people happier.
“He who has a why to live can suffer practically any how,” said Nietzsche.
If happiness is defined by pleasurable experiences, then increasing our happiness requires an increase in biochemical release. If happiness is founded on meaning, then improving our happiness requires deluding ourselves about our life’ meaning.
One rarely mentioned benefit of religion is that believing in an afterlife offers significance to your current life.
For nearly 2,000 years, Buddhism has studied happiness. Surprisingly, Buddhism and science have a lot in common when it comes to happiness. Most importantly, happiness is derived from internal bodily processes rather than external factors.
You are not the events that happen to you, and you are not the feelings you have, according to the Buddhist philosophy of happiness. You aren’t your emotions. They’re merely emotions. As a result, once you grasp this, you may let go of the desire to keep chasing the need to be joyful, not angry, or not sad. To put it another way, you must comprehend yourself.
Every organism has evolved according to evolution for almost 4 billion years. Humans, on the other hand, have begun to evolve in accordance with intelligent design in recent decades. In other words, there are people alive today who would have been weeded out of the gene pool millennia ago.
Humans are breaking the laws of natural selection thanks to genetic engineering.
Advances in human consciousness and identity will be part of the next stage of human history, in addition to biological and technical changes. Changes of this magnitude will put into question the basic definition of “human.”
Many people believe that we should ask ourselves, “What do we want to become?” as a guideline for our scientific endeavors. Because we appear to be on the verge of genetically designing and programming practically every aspect of our needs, wants, and consciousness, the true question we should be asking is, “What do we want to want?”
Humans have grown to take over the planet in the last 1000 years, and they are on the verge of defeating natural selection and becoming gods. Despite this, we appear to be unhappy in many ways and unsure of what we want. Is there anything more frightening than a deity who is dissatisfied and has no idea what he wants?

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?

Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  is a book by Yuval Noah Harari first published in Hebrew in Israel in 2011, and in English in 2014.

The book 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. The account is situated within a framework provided by the natural sciences, particularly evolutionary biology.

The reception of the book has been mixed. Scholars with relevant subject matter expertise have generally been very skeptical of the book. Public reaction to the book has been positive. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. 

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? 

In Sapiens, Dr Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? 

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future.

Review – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

Sapiens tackles the biggest questions of history and of the modern world, and it is written in unforgettably vivid language.” (Jared Diamond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Guns, Germs, and SteelCollapse, and The World until Yesterday)

Sapiens is learned, thought-provoking and crisply written…. Fascinating.” (Wall Street Journal)

“In Sapiens, Harari delves deep into our history as a species to help us understand who we are and what made us this way. An engrossing read.” (Dan Ariely, New York Times Bestselling author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty)

“Yuval Noah Harari’s celebrated Sapiens does for human evolution what Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time did for physics.… He does a superb job of outlining our slow emergence and eventual domination of the planet.” (Forbes)

“[I]nteresting and provocative…It gives you a sense of perspective on how briefly we’ve been on this earth, how short things like agriculture and science have been around, and why it makes sense for us to not take them for granted.” (President Barack Obama)

“I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging look at early human history…you’ll have a hard time putting it down.” (Bill Gates)Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind PDF

“Thank God someone finally wrote [this] exact book.” (Sebastian Junger)

Sapiens takes readers on a sweeping tour of the history of our species…. Harari’s formidable intellect sheds light on the biggest breakthroughs in the human story…important reading for serious-minded, self-reflective sapiens.” (Washington Post)

“It is one of the best accounts by a Homo sapiens of the unlikely story of our violent, accomplished species.…It is one hell of a story. And it has seldom been told better…. Compulsively readable and impossibly learned.” (Michael Gerson, Washington Post)

“This was the most surprising and thought-provoking book I read this year.” ( A Brief History of Humankind PDF

About the Author

Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in history from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. His first book, Sapiens, was translated into more than forty languages and became a bestseller in the US, the UK, France, China, Korea, and numerous other countries.

Originally published: 2011

AuthorYuval Noah Harari

Followed byHomo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Page count: 443

Genre: Non-fiction



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