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

Ever since the Cognitive Revolution Homo sapiens has been able to revise its behaviour rapidly in accordance with changing needs. This opened a fast lane of cultural evolution, by passing the traffic jams of genetic evolution. Speeding down the fast lane, Homo sapiens has outstripped al other human and animal species in its ability to cooperate.

The heated debates about Homo sapiens “natural way of life” [peaceful or warlike?] miss the point. Ever since the Cognitive Revolution there hasn’t been a single natural way of life for Sapiens. There are only cultural choices, from among a bewildering palette of possibilities.

Foragers seem to have enjoyed a more comfortable and rewarding lifestyle than most of the peasants, shepherds, and labourers who followed in their footsteps. [A version of the Fall of Man.]

The wandering bands of storytelling Sapiens were the most important and destructive force the animal kingdom had ever produced.

Cave of hands

Prehistoric people from 9000 to 13000 years ago wave at us. Please wave back.

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