Sapiens- Breakdown: The Cognitive Revolution

Is there one book which can give a complete insight into our history?

If yes, then the only answer would be Sapiens book.

Right from the way started roaming freely in this world in search for food to the way started roaming around this world in search of Business, everything is covered in this book.

It may change the perspective of our entire history which we have heard so far from our ancestors.

And most importantly this book will make you think how much we have lost for the sake of our own selfishness.

The book has been divided into 4 different categories

  1. The Cognitive Revolution
  2. The Agricultural Revolution
  3. The Unification of Humankind
  4. The Scientific Revolution

Let me try to breakdown each category with my own insights and thoughts. Also let me make a point clear that this is not a book review. Instead these are just my perceptions about this book.

This blog speaks about the Cognitive Revolution. Lets Begin.


Chapter 1: Evolution:

When our universe begins it has millions of different species. But how did only one species stand out from others?

Simple. The answer would be Cognition.

But Cognition exists between most of the species. All wild animals have a cognitive thought. It uses it as a weapon to find its prey. So in what way Homosapiens – a species which is similar to most of the wild animals with a brain which is much lesser in size than most of the species like Nedantherals survive and become a sole ruler of the world?

So, Is it because of Teamwork?

Of course, Teamwork play an important role. But not only teamwork make them stand out. Teamwork is common among all the animals. Then what else?

It’s because of Sapiens forage for knowledge. They keep on improving their life and lifestyle. They live happily in a group. They survive with the extinction of others species. Extinction of wild animals started with the evolution of sapiens.

Even today we eat meat. We termed yourself as a Non-Vegetarian’s. It’s nothing but we are creating an extinction of so many species. We are eating it for our health or its taste or whatever it might be. But if look deeper into it we can say that we are creating a natural imbalance of species around us for our sake of survival. And it all started not just now, but when the evolution of Sapiens begin.

Chapter 2: Imagined Reality:

Also, sapiens not only cultivate the knowledge that is seen. But also which are not seen. This is a most important point to be noted in cognitive revolution and its termed as Imagined reality.

“As far as we know, only Sapiens can talk about entire kind of entities that never seen, touched or smelled. Just try to imagine how difficult it would have been to create states, or churches or legal systems if we could speak only about things that really exist, such as rivers, trees, and lions.”

If so Sapiens didn’t cultivate the ability to imagine something which is not seen, then we would have never developed. We would still be the same as one of the wild animals who is hunting other wild animals.

Take a break and look at the objects surrounding you. It may look so simple and many times it goes unnoticed. But these are the objects which are created with imagination. But Sapiens can see his trees, rivers, mountains, animals etc.. I get amazed now how we end up here. How did sapiens make it happen? No doubt that ancient Sapiens are most skillful than us.

Chapter 3: Gossip:

How many of us like gossips and How many don’t? You get tempted to hear about others or talk about others. When there is any gossip about any famous celebrities it gets on top of trending so easily than any news.

Gossip is not a new age invention. It all started at the time of Sapiens itself. And Gossip is what made them explore more. “That left them plenty of time to gossip, tell stories, play with the children and just hang out

The only aim of sapiens for that day would be getting something to eat and survive that day. So once they get that day food, they had time for a lot of gossiping. This gossiping time helps them to gather new knowledge about any subject. It created curiosity between them to explore more. This gossip has made them invent new things.

The cognitive revolution had made Sapiens to explore more. We gained a lot in this revolution. But also we lost a lot.

Things lost:

1. Extinction of Species

“HomoSapiens held the record among all organisms for the most plant and animal species to their extinction.”

Extinction of species has become so mandatory for their survival. Not only plants and animals got extinct, but the species who is much similar to sapiens, much stronger than sapiens i.e Neadanterals also get extinct. It because of the sole ability of Homosapiens to cultivate the knowledge.

2. Freedom, Happiness and Simple lifestyle

We have goals. We have responsibility. We have people who are dependent on us. We are dependent on other. We are piled up with lot many kinds of stuff.

For a short time think how a life of sapiens would be. Their aim is fulfilling their hunger. They roamed freely. They hunt together. They play together.

They are happy with their simple life. They didn’t expect much.

Agree that their life span is so less and unpredictable. Their survival for a day is a big question. But they didn’t care about anything.

And we on other hand take care of everything. We worry about the number of calories in the food we eat. We worry about what dress should we wear on each day in a week. But Sapiens doesn’t know the term itself. They know only morning and night.

The freedom which early Hunter gathers Sapiens had has been lost now. But you may say today you can roam freely anywhere in the world. You can travel to any part of the world. Agree. But you can not do it for all day.

We try to figure out things that bring us happiness. But Sapiens naturally stayed happy. They did the mistake. Learn from it and keep on improving.

We hardly try to find some time to talk to our kids. But Sapiens did everything together. Their kid is always with them.

Their needs are very less and they live a simple life. That is what made them happy.

Life Lessons:

Some life lessons to be learned from the cognitive revolution of Sapiens is

  1. Reduce your needs and live a simple life.
  2. Never care for something. Just go with the flow.
  3. Always be curious to learn something. Thrive for knowledge is a primary need
  4. Our ancestors have already killed a lot of species in this world. At least take care of what is left out.

It is difficult for us to go back and live the life of sapiens. We have gained a lot and we can’t imagine how we end up here.

But we also should not forget the fact that we end up here by the extinction of many of our friendly species.

This is a most touching line from the cognitive revolution, which clearly states how much we lost

“Among all the world’s large creatures, the only survivors of the Human flood will be Human themselves, and the farmyard animals that serve as galley slaves in Noah’s Ark”

Did you like this blog post? Can you help me with some suggestion for improvements? Leave in a comments section below. Also share what are your insigights about cognitive revolution of Sapiens? Leave in a comments section below.