BOOK REVIEW – SAPIENS

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“About 13.5 billion years ago, matter, energy, time and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang. The story of these fundamental features of our universe is called physics. ⠀

About 300,000 years after their appearance, matter and energy started to coalesce into complex structures called atoms, which then combined into molecules. The story of atoms, molecules and their interactions is called chemistry. ⠀

About 3.8 billion years ago on a planet called earth, certain molecules combined to form particularly large and intricate structures called organisms. The story of organisms is called biology.⠀

About 70,000 years ago, organisms belonging to the species Homo Sapiens started to form even more elaborate structures called cultures. The subsequent development of these human cultures is called history”⠀

When I read the first page of Sapiens, the weight and simplicity of his sentence composition blew my mind. I literally (physically) dropped the book because I was afraid of what the book might do to me. Somehow, I knew the book will raise many questions in my mind and spark good conversations about culture, religion, science and the future. Books take us to places…places we can’t anticipate. This one did not disappoint. ⠀ ⠀

Yuval Noah has written an engaging, easy-to-read and well-researched book about the history of history. It’s the kind of book that answers a host of questions while raising a few other questions. I liked the fact that some Nigerian cultural history made it into the book. Naija no dey carry last. Yuval makes some speculations about where we are headed as a species and how we might live in the future. He wonders how genetic engineering, artificial intelligence and other technologies might fundamentally change our species. While I do not agree with everything Yuval has to say, the book makes for a good read for anyone looking to satisfy their curiosity about how we got here. I highly recommend it. The book gave me an overarching picture of history on which I can begin to fit other elements as I continue to learn.