How We Got Where We Are

Facilitator: Frank Gillespie, 226-3731, Dates: Thursday afternoons, September 12 – October 31, 2019 Time: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind, by Yuval Noah Harari Presentations: Required, see below

This course will explore the history of our species, Homo sapiens, to help us understand who we are, where we came from, and who we are becoming.
To guide our exploration we will investigate many topics and questions, including the following:

How did we become dominant over other hominins?
What factors shaped our various cultures?
What enabled us to cooperate and work toward common goals?
How did myths enable us to live in large groups?
What were the costs and benefits of the agriculture, industrial, and scientific revolutions? What factors cause us to continue to evolve?
Do new attitudes, behaviors, and skills always help?

Each week we will read and discuss two or three chapters of the text with regard to specific topics and questions. Also, each week, one or two participants will conduct an exploration, provide a presentation, or lead a discussion of a specific topic or question to enhance our understanding of the material.