Sapiens — A brief history of humankind is one of the most well-known books written about the evolution of Homo sapiens and how they emerged from an insignificant animal in Africa to the master of the entire planet.
There is something very profound about the book that enticed many tech professionals like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates to recommend it to many people who are thriving to do better for the world.
Now, just like these tech perfects, should you read “Sapiens” as well?
What's Included in This Post
What is so special about Sapiens book?
Sapiens is a book that everyone reads. It teaches us about human evolution and how we took over the world. Moreover, the author’s contemplations about mankind are really eye-opening.
The book begins with a deep exploration of the origins of Homo sapiens, including our early ancestors, Homo erectus and Homo sapiens, as well as our cultural footprint through the ages. Harari also dives into how worldviews have shifted over time, discussing everything from the scientific revolution to the rise of modern capitalism and our relationship to technology.
Further, Sapiens delves into our biological basis, providing an in-depth look into our evolution from apes to modern humans. It is thought-provoking and eye-opening, showing readers a wide spectrum of perspectives on the story of human history.
What is truly remarkable about the book is the way it weaves together facts, stories, and anecdotes, effectively engaging readers in the narrative. Harari’s writing has a certain magical quality to it, making us feel as if we are on an adventure that transcends time and space, from ancient times to modern day. Other than the fact that it is truly captivating, Sapiens is also incredibly informative.
The book teaches the importance of history, stunning readers with not only an understanding of past occurrences, but also of underlying trends and patterns, helping to make sense of the present and future. Moreover, it insists upon our ability to take ownership of our future, inspiring readers to use history to their advantage, and to remember that although certain aspects of the human experience cannot be changed, the future does not have to follow the same path.
Besides that, here are the top 7 excellent reasons why you should read Sapiens.
1. The book goes beyond the norm
In the book, Harari argues that due to the scriptures delivered to the well-known messengers in Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Confucianism, humans have limited their potential to go beyond what was presented in the ancient texts and shared stories.
You can see numerous people blindly only believing the truth of the Universe and wisdom that needs more coverage than it currently has.
Harrari states that it is inconceivable that the Bible or Qur’an has missed some of the crucial secrets of the universe for humans to explore and fix.
Unfortunately, we humans believe, if a specific theory isn’t mentioned in the scriptures, it isn’t important since no one scholar bothered to mention it in the book.
Therefore, it talks about what actually drove the scientific revolution and what we are currently doing wrong. Harari believes humans limit their opportunities by ignoring the most fundamental questions of all time.
2. It challenges you
As mentioned above, Harari firmly believes that the lack of creativity and innovation results from unnecessary limitations we have put within ourselves.
Once you’re done reading the book, you will most likely feel chained to take action against the things that matter to you and creating a legacy that inspires people to join you.
In our DNA, it is indeed to make a genuine shift in the system and bring out the uniqueness in everything we do.
Therefore, be the person who keeps their ego aside and works on what will fulfill them in the long run. Sure, it can be challenging, and you might want to give up every minute of it.
But you will see people waiting for someone like you to take up projects and stand for what’s right. Don’t be afraid to be in times when you won’t have any answers at all.
In that case, it’s best to acknowledge instead of showing ignorance but also understand that it’s okay you don’t know the answers yet, but you care enough to make a difference.
This is the attitude Harari talks about in the entire book.
3. Slow biological evolution
When we compare how rapidly humans are evolving technology, Haris can’t say the same about human evolvement.
The biological evolution of the human species is almost as slow as our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This fact is one of the major causes why every new invention carries risk around humans.
Other than that, humans’ slow biological evolution can also make it harder for each individual to connect with other specifics or even specify their own type.
The author greatly emphasizes each point using stories and examples that can stay with you forever.
On a positive note, thanks to humans’ capability to constantly improve, you can also expect humans to practice and get along better than they ever had.
4. It delves down into human nature
Instead of being ignorant of human beings’ flaws and perfections, Harari helps people by showing the mirror to people.
Many people believe that the human species become dominant after the revolutions of industries. Little did you know, homo sapiens have been doing this ever since they were involved.
By nature, humans are limited to making connections for no more than 150 people. If they have, they are probably fake.
However, we humans also have the power to create stories and myths that can help connect with people way beyond the average range of people who can influence others.
This creates a growth of people with shared risks, knowledge, and interests to help people count in you whenever they are in need.
By the use of these stories, religions are formed. This helps people make convictions that set up ground rules that make you who you indeed are.
Using this, you can see people forming groups in religions, understanding global concepts like paper money, and believing that words have the power to bring incredible value to lifeless things.
5. Endorsed by Silicon Valley Experts
Along with the book With Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow (2016) and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018), Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari has been endorsed by well-known experts like Bill Gates, Janelle Monae, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama that shows its credible and positive impact on people’s lives.
Therefore, it’s essential you also delve deep down into answered questions and your actual potential to make extraordinary things out of nothing.
6. Power of vision
One of the biggest reasons humans have the upper control over the planet is their unique ability to have a vision and idea of the things that currently don’t exist.
It talks about how you are never in the same spot for the rest of your life, which, as a result, pushes people to move forward, organize and coordinate with others on a higher level. Their belief can help them have long-term survival and create an army of people who want to strive towards the same visions.
This fact is significant in Silicon Valley since you get to see hundreds of tech experts coming up with new innovative ideas every day and selling them to investors and employees to believe in nothing but a vision that currently is nowhere to exist.
The book strengthens your views about having a forward-thinking approach to all of your actions and unites people to reach a common goal rapidly.
7. Future of work
I loved the book because, effortlessly, it broke down complex concepts of the past to help you see the fundamentals of situations and end it with a prediction of how the future would look like considering the nature of homo sapiens.
In general, humans’ behavior allows their life to revolve around creating meaningful lives and making money without working for longer hours.
This is one of the primary reasons people nowadays aren’t fond of the traditional 9 to 5 jobs. Our ancestors used to spend less than 3 to 5 hours a day working and the rest on enjoying their life.
After the industrial revolution, you can see an increase in people actually hardworking and switch to long hours to boost technology. Now that we have laid the foundations, the future will likely revolve around using automation.
Humans will go back to having relatively shorter working days, all while getting their Universal Basic income.
For more information regarding this exciting topic, I would highly recommend you to read the Sapiens book and immerse yourself in the inspiring stories of Harari.
How long does it take to read sapiens?
Considering how the book is 464 pages long, you can expect an average reader to spend around 8 hours and 52 minutes to finish this book.
Is Sapiens the best book about humankind?
If you aren’t quite fond of the Sapiens book, it’s never a bad idea to consider other relatively similar books that can add better value to your time and money spent on the book.
1. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies – Book by Jared Diamond
His book is known to be one of the most readable books on homo sapiens of all time. The book has prevailed its name to be a Pulitzer Prize winner and national bestseller to create refutation of ideas about human development and going beyond the surface level topics to help you understand the concepts better.
Many people regard this book as “artful, informative, and delightful” since it covers everything you need to know about geographical and environmental aspects that have sculpted the world that it is now.
The book starts by reiterating how humans have had a head start with food production and slowly went ahead in their endeavors to create revolutionary concepts of writing, government, technology, and organized religions along with effects of nasty germs and conflicts of war.
These factors are critical to understanding since they can shift your perspectives and dismantle human history theories to set your own benchmarks.
2. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed – Book by Jared Diamond
This book is on a study of the downfall that discusses the greatest civilizations of Anasazi, the Maya, and the Viking colony in Greenland.
It focuses on analyzing and tracing the patterns of environmental damage and what has led to deteriorating the earth’s condition every day.
A few other things worth noting are the poor political choices, overestimating the factors that would make people happy, and failure of corporate strategies that have led to a profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from planning your next vacation to playing your luck in the stock market.