Having read about the history of humans before they gained the knowledge of recording history the way it is understood presently. I have found some facts fascinating. The sheer difference between humans and the closest primates is so significant that humans have had no choice but to believe that they are unique and have an origin that is very different from the rest of the animals. It is also shocking to learn that there is a possibility that Homo Sapiens decimated the other species of hominids from the face of earth in order to have the sole claim of superiority and dominance in the world (Harari 26). I have learned to use the term human with care, as it encompasses other species that Sapiens must have coexisted with thousands of years ago. There are four insights that I have gained from reading on the history and evolution of Homo Sapiens. These include the fact that sapiens are communal; are incredibly curious about the environment; they are resilient; and sapiens are the most dangerous predator on earth.
Sapiens are driven to live together and work together for common benefit. This is an evolved characteristic, as they are not strong enough to hunt other animals or defend themselves on their own. Coming together and working as a team enabled the ancestors of sapiens to have an advantage over both their preys and predators. This, coupled with the ability to make tools and weapons from trees, bones, and stone, made them formidable creatures. They no longer had to hunt only small insects and animals but could even hunt the biggest creatures such as mammoths for their meat. The coming together of humans for mutual benefits made them become social creatures and created an opportunity for the development of language and culture that would bind the society or tribe together. Their well-developed brains enabled them to come up with sophisticated ways of communicating abstract ideas and also to have an active imagination. They could think of and perceive things that were not in existence, setting them apart from the rest of the animals. This communal nature of humans is so ingrained in them such that loneliness can have adverse emotional and psychological effects. Other animals also tend to be communal, but they are nowhere close to the ability of sapiens to set up tribes, communities, religions, cultures, and states that have a high number of people tied together by a common bond. The tendency to form families that stay together for a lifetime also stems from this communal nature of sapiens.
Another insight regarding sapiens is that they are a curious species, especially about the environment that they live in. arguably, this is the only species that has a consciousness and wonders about its origins and that of the environment around it. For millennia, sapiens have looked up to the skies at night and wondered what the moon and stars are made of. They are curious about the other animals and plants that coexist with them on earth. They are curious about stones and minerals. This curiosity has enabled sapiens to discover different uses of the things that they find in the environment. It has also led to the invention of religion and other disciplines that attempt to explain the origin of everything in the universe and what matter makes up such things (Harari 29).
Sapiens also happen to be among the most resilient species on earth. This has been possible by the ability of the species to adapt and multiply in various environments in the world. Sapiens may not be naturally suited to the environment but are creative enough to tinker with the surrounding to make it habitable. Some sapiens live in the deserts and have found ways to extract water in an environment where water scarcity is a significant challenge. There sapiens that live in forests and have found ways of getting whatever they need for survival from that natural resource. Moreover, there are some who live in the slopes of mountains and near the poles where the weather is freezing throughout. They have found ways of keeping warm in those inhospitable places and managed even to develop civilizations. The creative and deductive nature of the human brain has also facilitated in ensuring their recovery and continued survival after natural calamities such as earthquakes, typhoons, and floods.
Lastly sapiens are the most effective and deadly predators. They predate not only on other animals, but also on their environment. Sapiens are suspected to be responsible for the demise of the other hominids through genocides and also for the extinction of many animal and plant species. This happens via the destruction of the ecosystems and habitats of the animals from the activities of the sapiens. Farming cleared out forests, driving the animals away and making others homeless in the process. Sapiens have also been at war with each other based on their tribes, religions, ideals and the competition for scarce but precious resources. the agricultural age gave way to the industrial age, and this is credited with the creation of the biggest threat to humanity and other animal species on earth. The release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere has resulted in climate change. Climate change poses a threat to the very existence of humanity. The predatorial nature of humans can be blamed for this outcome.
In conclusion, sapiens exhibit some characteristics that are either too elevated or are absent in the other animals. These include being communal, curiosity, resilience, and deadly predators. The predatorial nature of humans is not that apparent physically, but their creative nature makes them more dangerous than all the other animals.
Harari, Yuval N. Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind. Random House Company, 2014. Print.