The rise of Homo sapiens

Yuval Harari is the author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which charts the rise of Homo sapiens – and its impact on its fellow species. As Yuval points out, we humans are more powerful now than ever but, Rob Attar asks him, has our progress made us happy?

A painting in the cave of Altamira, Spain

This article was first published in the October 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine

How did we come to dominate the world?

We often try to answer this on the individual level, believing there is something special about us compared with, say, a chimpanzee. We think that we are so much smarter than the ape but actually, one-on-one, we are not much better. If you placed me on an island to compete with a chimpanzee for survival, I would bet on the chimpanzee.

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