A Different Perspective

The Spotlight: A Review of “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari


Hi all! It’s been a long minute since I wrote here and even longer since I reviewed a book ๐Ÿ™‚ Seriously, I missed it, but it couldn’t have been helped.

My life is changing. In so many ways, it’s not even funny. I’m just trying to adjust and hang on to God through it all.

Everyone is aware of the BIG change affecting us all, the impact of the COVID-19 on our health, mental and physical, and our wealth, collective and personal. In the midst of this pandemic, I reached the climax of my expectancy, and put to birth in late March! Yes, so I’m a new mother, second time around! That’s just the tip of the changes I’m going through. Reading Sapiens by Yuval, over the last six months or so, has certainly led to changes in my cognitive reasoning too.

“Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind” was recommended to me by an old friend and school mate, during a semi-heated debate we were having about religion in our Alumni WhatsApp group. He did me the honour of reading my take on Evolution, which I called “rubbish”, and in turn, I promised to read this book by Yuval Noah Harari, so that I could be better informed.

Well, well… It took me a while to get a hold of the book. I ordered it via Amazon, and started reading it late last year. The book is divided into four parts, 20 chapters, and several sections within each chapter. I decided to read two or three sections a day, to pace myself, as I had other things I was doing and books I was reading and writing.

Okay, before I get specific, I liked the book. I appreciated the author’s initiative and insights he shared in the book, though I felt that he seemed to have an agenda, which I guess is reasonable. Every writer has an agenda, and that’s the message/s they wish to pass across. The book was definitely thought-provoking, challenging, and enlightening. But I didn’t, and still don’t, agree with its premise; the hypothesis that the universe came into being with a Big Bang, before which nothing existed.

In fact, it shocks me that he could still maintain that perspective, when his book concludes with what he calls a new “singularity”. With the Big Bang being the first, and the coming age of superhumans (brought about by genetic engineering) being the second. I mean…what if the Big Bang isn’t the first of its kind??? What if the Big Bang was like a nuclear explosion from another universe’s Armageddon?! Lol!

I really didn’t like how the writer kept making claims that he couldn’t support with evidence. For example, he mentions out of the blue that “sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs“. I mean, how the hell does he know that an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs???! Was he there??? It is just speculation that he never even looked into nor led up to with reasonable analysis. He just says it, like it’s fact, the way he started the book… “About 13.5 billion years ago, matter, energy, time and space came into being in what is known as the Big Bang…Seriously?! I guess there has to be a basis for his book, and that’s it.

Anyway, aside that we still disagree on the Theory of Evolution, I found some of his “messages” disagreeable too. In one section, titled “He and She”, he brings up the controversial subject of homosexuality and here states, “How can we distinguish what is biologically determined from what people merely try to justify through biological myths?” This is after affirming that in Biology, we have two sexes, male and female. Now they are myths???

He went on to say, “A good rule of thumb is ‘Biology enables, Culture forbids’…” and, by this, argues that because men can technically stick their penises in the anuses of other men and achieve ecstasy, then surely, this is Biology enabling them to mate without procreating! The problem is with culture that has a stick up its bum and won’t let people do what they want. He wrote:

Biology is willing to tolerate a very wide spectrum of possibilities. It’s culture that obliges people to realise some possibilities while forbidding others. Biology enables women to have children – some cultures oblige women to realise this possibility. Biology enables men to enjoy sex with one another – some cultures forbid them to realise this possibility.

What a weak, horrendous argument in favour of the practice of homosexuality! You know that biologically, grown men can also (and many do) have sex with babies (not just little children)?! And biologically, humans can have sex with their pets…? But if you truly understood and respected BIOLOGY, you’d know that such abuses are actually contrary to Biology. Like he wrote elsewhere, when addressing what makes for happiness:

Imagine that a psychologist embarks on a study of happiness among drug users. He polls them and finds that they declare, every single one of them, that they are only happy when they shoot up. Would the psychologist publish a paper declaring that heroin is the key to happiness?”

Certainly not! And so, be careful of your argument that Biology enables it, so it’s all good, Mr Harari.

Besides this, there were other things he said that I felt revealed his bias. Like the times he compared the transatlantic slave trade to the horrible treatment of animals in agriculture. He said that the way they exploit animals, and we, who consume them, do not feel any particular way towards the exploited animals, which we also eat, is the same way that slave owners and investors were not particular nor considerate of Black people, and so slavery wasn’t really about racism but about capitalism. For real??!

At first, I almost swallowed that, until it came back up like vomit rejected from my psyche. So, he actually compared fellow human beings to animals?! And he felt so confident to repeat that thinking in his text?! WOW!

If it wasn’t racism, what does it say about the fact that White folks were not also entrapped like Blacks for economic profits? Yes, people are enslaved today, and I honestly don’t think human trafficking is a racist venture, as every race and tribe is affected, but the transatlantic slave trade was! His justification is appalling! And the fact that he could compare Black people to pigs and chickens is telling of his own racism.

Well, in his defense, he does believe that he and the rest of us originate from apes, so he does see himself as just another animal, just a bit advanced. Well, I don’t believe in the evolutionary theory, and so, I do take offence at being compared to animals. All the same, the treatment of animals for profit is despicable, but I don’t see myself becoming a vegan in this lifetime. Just being honest.

One thing I do like about the book is that it answers a lot of questions that religions presume to know the answers to, while only speculating. It’s making me to consider some things and see them from a different perspective. Also, from my reading, one thing has become glaring…humanity is controlled by its need to produce.

He spoke about how the Agricultural Revolution was the biggest scam. What promised more for all, enslaved us all, causing us to work more to eat, and also led us to treat animals like inanimate objects or one-dimensional creatures that live and die independently of each other in cages. Ultimately, continuous advancements in technology have led to the Scientific Revolution, where human families are now broken into ‘individuals’, whose purpose is simply to work and consume resources, before they die. Another scam of economic growth and social progress.

The emotional needs of both animals and humans have been sacrificed to accommodate our need to consume and ‘survive’. It is now totally reasonable to imagine the world as it was imagined in the movie “The Fifth Element”, where people lived in small cabins, were heavily policed, and flew around in cars and spaceships. Without family ties, and with State and market forces in control, we are all just on our own in this big cold world. How true and frightening!

Of all the things I read, what I gained most from the book was an understanding of the development of societies, and Africa’s position, socially and economically, in the world. Yuval wrote about how the desire for knowledge and funding for research set Europe above the other continents. While they were seeking to conquer lands and grow their knowledge, we were content in our world as we knew it. It was like a game of Monopoly that we were not aware we were involved in, and woke up to find ourselves conquered. But surprisingly, considering how detailed the book was, he didn’t talk about what really caused the dissolution of these empires that were forged by Britain, France, Spain, and other European nations. I guess, people generally became more enlightened and preferred economic growth and peace to war and oppression, even though some empires came down kicking and screaming.

Now, we have a new world empire, and states are not as independent nor individually powerful as before. With the invention of the nuclear bomb, war is now a threat to our humanity, so we are in a state of peace by force. However, the biggest threat to our humanity is the continuous progress we are making in science, which means that we are now able to create living things, and could potentially upgrade our own hardware and software with genetic engineering! Yikes!!!

This brings me to address the issue of our time, Coronavirus! I was thinking how timely it was that I read this book now. As I am looking at things now, I am wondering if this Coronavirus was not genetically engineered to force all of humanity to upgrade their DNA!!! I mean, it has presented a great opportunity to infect us all with what appears to be a cure or vaccination for the disease, but is actually a genetic code that sets us on the path to becoming something other than human. If you have not read about the vaccines that are being developed, you really should! I read this post yesterday. They are saying science and genetic engineering to the rescue, but what if it’s the next big scam?!! OMG!

If there’s a time for Jesus Christ to come back, it’s now. Please, Lord! Because as much as I don’t want to die to COVID-19, I also don’t want to be part of this new biological experiment!

Okay, that’s my review. Would I recommend the book? Eh… If anything I’ve written sounds interesting to you, then do read the book to know more. It’s very bulky. If you are weak in your Faith and would like to keep it, perhaps you should read something else. But I found it interesting. At least I can answer Atheists who say that this book proves Evolution is the truth – with a big big laugh! LMAO!

Seriously, Yuval even presented my own argument for Creationism when he wrote:

If I bake a cake from flour, oil and sugar, all of which have been sitting in my pantry for the past two months, it does not mean that the cake itself is two months old.”

Thank you! Basically, the true age of a created thing should be calculated by the date of creation, and not the perceived age of the materials involved in creation. Hence, the Earth can really be thousands of years old, and not billions ๐Ÿ˜ Carbon-dating ain’t got nothing on Jesus! God alone knows. Do check out my post: MUSING ON TIME AND ETERNITY, EVOLUTION AND CREATION.

Stay safe, y’all!

Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com

If you liked this post, you might like THE SPOTLIGHT: “LUCIFER” THE NETFLIX SERIES

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5 replies »

  1. Having a new child is a good change and I am happy for you. Congratulations, Ma’am.
    Read the review with keen interest. I must say you are brave for reading such a book. The length is discouraging and content, appalling. I would have dropped it a long time ago.
    While reading your review, one Scripture stood out in my mind:
    ‘But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
    They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. Forever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualitiesโ€”his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
    Yes, they knew God, but they wouldnโ€™t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshipping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshipped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.
    So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each otherโ€™s bodies.
    They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.’
    Romans 1:18โ€ญ-โ€ฌ25 NLT
    Science is not the answer.
    Christ is. God is. The world can burn with its illusions and philosophies – high sounding wisdom that comes to nought.

    Like

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