Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: serialised in quotes II

Some human species may have made occasional use of fire as early as 800 000 years ago. By about 300 000 years ago, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and the forefathers of Homo sapiens were using fire on a daily basis.

The advent of cooking enabled humans to eat more kinds of food, to devote less time to eating, and to make do with smaller teeth and shorter intestines.

When humans domesticated fire, they gained control of an obedient and potentially limitless force.

The period from about 70 000 years ago to some 30 000 years ago witnessed the invention of boats, oild lamps, bows and arrows and needles (essential for sewing warm clothing).

The appearance of new ways of thinking and communicating, beyween 70 000 and 30 000 years ago, constitutes the Cognitive Revolution.

A parrot can say anything Albert Einstein can say.

A second theory agrees that our language evolved as a means of sharing information about the world. But the most important information that needed to be conveyed was about humans, not about lions and bison. Our language evolved as a way of gossiping.

Yet the truly unique feature of our language is not its ability to transmit information about men and lions. Rather, it’s the ability to transmit information about things that do not exist at all.

This ability to speak about fictions is the most unique feature of Sapiens language.


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