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  • Writer's pictureArjun Patel

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Part 4

Hey guys! Today is the last day of my Sapiens review, and I could not be more excited to share what I thought about the book! These last seven chapters are on the Scientific Revolution, which became increasingly engrossing as I progressed. I also started reading Guns, Germs, and Steel, so I will be sure to talk about that in the future.

Chapter 14 discusses that human beings have made numerous inventions and innovations. However, there was 99.99% ignorance about organisms and the Earth. Human beings did not know anything about microorganisms; therefore, the discovery of a homemade microscope in 1674 by Anton van Leeuwenhoek helped people view microorganisms. The discovery of ignorance laid the basis for the Scientific Revolution as man started working toward discovering things they had never observed or felt before.

Chapter 15 examines how super nation countries used science to stamp their control on the Earth. The astronomers took the initiative to understand the Earth and mathematically find the distance between the sun and the Earth. However, later, astronomers were sent worldwide to study the Earth and its atmosphere. Also, the development of Europe and North America was due to scientific products, which other countries still needed. Hence, the scientific development made in European nations facilitated their growth and control of the world.

In a nutshell, Chapter 16 discusses capitalism and notes that the adoption of money was believed to facilitate the construction of buildings and empires. However, in the history of the economy, Harari argues that production per capita had not increased, but the increase was attributed to the rising population. Perceptibly, he asserts that the capitalist’s ideas and desires pushed people to seek more wealth for themselves at the expense of others. Banks were opened, and people started other businesses like bakery objectively to tap into the money available among potential customers. In addition, people invested in scientific research to improve technology, and at the same time, new geographical discoveries, organizational developments, gains, and technological inventions were made to enable people to amass wealth.

In summary, Chapter 17 discusses the rise of industries. In the previous chapter, business people were making money from their businesses and could bank their profits, but this chapter alludes that the profits were plowed back into businesses. Due to re-investments, industries grew, creating more wealth for individual investors and nationals of a particular state. People started using energy and raw materials to create wealth and boost investments, pushing the world towards industrialization and significant economic growth.

The previous chapter describes how the Industrial Revolution began. Chapter 18 indicates that people started using energy and raw materials to produce goods and services for the market. Vehicles and many other goods were manufactured and traded. This chapter emphasizes how the Industrial Revolution gained permanency. Today, it is apparent that the Industrial Revolution is permanent, and many countries are seeking it because it is the only way to develop a nation or create enough wealth to meet the needs of the masses.

Chapter 19 is debatable in that it raises whether people are happy and contented due to the Agricultural, Scientific, and Industrial Revolutions. However, Harari claims that since the inception of the Scientific Revolution, there has been a correlation between power and happiness, and this is to demonstrate that revolutions that happened, as indicated in history, made people happy. However, in the present, this is debatable because, in the modern age, people are still unsatisfied despite the emergence and success of the permanency of scientific and industrial revolutions.

The last chapter generally asserts that sapiens are subject to natural selection processes, chemical reactions, and physical forces like other organisms. Natural selection has given humankind some limitations, which man transcends today due to intelligent design. In summation, the chapter says that the introduction of biological engineering, innovations, and inventions have enabled humankind to beat some of the limitations or boundaries that natural selection put on them naturally.

This section was the biggest of the book, but even so, Harari explains in detail what the Scientific Revolution was and how it impacted people back then and today. From the beginning of the book, we see a massive change in humans. He started the book with humans before Homo sapiens, that evolved thousands of years ago. He ends this book in the present day, going through almost the whole history of humans and how we came to be, which is why this book was hard to put down. Next time, I will talk about my new nonprofit organization on mental health. Our website is linked here! See you soon!

- AnthroManTalks

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