A BRIEF HISTORY OF MAN is about what we now know, and how we know it. Because for the first time in man’s history we can look back and say, scientifically, where we came from, how we got here and what it is that makes us who and what we are.
Soon after we left Africa about 70,000 years ago our evolution suddenly took flight. Our population exploded and we quickly began living as cultural beings in an increasingly organized, proto-society.
We began to trade, to use personal ornamentation, to ritually bury our dead, to paint caves in an incredibly organized way, and to produce the thousands of “Venus” figurines that we have now unearthed. And it was at this point that we began to speak.
Yet all this happened in the depths of the Ice Age, and at a time when our closest neighbour and nearest rival the Neanderthal suddenly perished. Why? What were all of these developments for? And why did we suddenly become so much better at surviving because of them?
Because what we began to do once we left Africa was to practice belief. Belief is what makes us who and what we are, and is what nearly all of those practices were used for. But what we believe in is immaterial.
God does not surface until much later, because belief and God serve two very different ends. The latter only emerges with our need for a legal code, and that only happens after the the ending of the Ice Age and the arrival of agriculture.
Belief on the other hand is our ultimate response to our understanding of what it means to be human. For we are first and foremost problem solvers. And belief is our way of solving all of our problems.
See the promo for it here.
See the Table of Contents and read the Prologue here.