(I’m co-leading this reading/discussion group through the UU Community Church of Santa Monica, open to all. It is especially geared toward humanists, free-thinkers, and others interested in challenging their preconceptions and growing our knowledge about the world and our place in it!)
“Sapiens,” a bestselling and internationally renowned book by Yuval Harari, draws from many fields of study (history, anthropology, archaeology and the biological sciences) to tell the story of how modern human beings came to be and where we may be headed in the future. The author argues that history has been shaped by three major revolutions: the Cognitive Revolution (70,000 years ago), the Agricultural Revolution (10,000 years ago), and the Scientific Revolution (500 years ago). Unlike any other animal, these paradigm shifts empowered us to order our world around ideas (politics, economics, religion etc.). The resulting transformations enabled Homo Sapiens to quickly become the dominant species on Earth and have now put us on the verge of overcoming the forces of natural selection itself, even as we face grave ecological peril.
We’ll be discussing this “big history” epic from a variety of perspectives. We have a lively and inquisitive group going so far, including several SALAers. This is a really great book that poses a number of provocative questions and ideas, especially about aspects of human culture that most of us take for granted. Our third meeting will be Saturday, April, 8th 4-6PM, and will focus on Part 3 of the book, "The Unification of Humankind." We’ll meet again for at least one more Saturday (if the group votes for more discussion, I'm game) for a planned total of four sessions over eight weeks. You're responsible for procuring a print or electronic copy of the book. Please RSVP here -- address and further details will be provided via email. Feel free to contact me with questions -- firstname.lastname@example.org.