A Brief History of Humankind

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10/10 stars
based on  33 reviews
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Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4691 reviews

Course Description

About 2 million years ago our human ancestors were insignificant animals living in a corner of Africa. Their impact on the world was no greater than that of gorillas, zebras, or chickens. Today humans are spread all over the world, and they are the most important animal around. The very future of life on Earth depends on the ideas and behavior of our species. This course will explain how we humans have conquered planet Earth, and how we have changed our environment, our societies, and our own bodies and minds. The aim of the course is to give students a brief but complete overview of history, from the Stone Age to the age of capitalism and genetic engineering. The course invites us to question the basic narratives of our world. Its conclusions are enlightening and at times provocative. For example: · We rule the world because we are the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in our own imagination, such as... About 2 million years ago our human ancestors were insignificant animals living in a corner of Africa. Their impact on the world was no greater than that of gorillas, zebras, or chickens. Today humans are spread all over the world, and they are the most important animal around. The very future of life on Earth depends on the ideas and behavior of our species. This course will explain how we humans have conquered planet Earth, and how we have changed our environment, our societies, and our own bodies and minds. The aim of the course is to give students a brief but complete overview of history, from the Stone Age to the age of capitalism and genetic engineering. The course invites us to question the basic narratives of our world. Its conclusions are enlightening and at times provocative. For example: · We rule the world because we are the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in our own imagination, such as gods, states, money and human rights. · Humans are ecological serial killers – even with stone-age tools, our ancestors wiped out half the planet's large terrestrial mammals well before the advent of agriculture. · The Agricultural Revolution was history’s biggest fraud – wheat domesticated Sapiens_ _rather than the other way around. · Money is the most universal and pluralistic system of mutual trust ever devised. Money is the only thing everyone trusts. · Empire is the most successful political system humans have invented, and our present era of anti-imperial sentiment is probably a short-lived aberration. · Capitalism is a religion rather than just an economic theory – and it is the most successful religion to date. · The treatment of animals in modern agriculture may turn out to be the worst crime in history. · We are far more powerful than our ancestors, but we aren’t much happier. · Humans will soon disappear. With the help of novel technologies, within a few centuries or even decades, Humans will upgrade themselves into completely different beings, enjoying godlike qualities and abilities. History began when humans invented gods – and will end when humans become gods.
Reviews 10/10 stars
33 Reviews for A Brief History of Humankind

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Claire-Louise TAYLOR profile image
Claire-Louise TAYLOR profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 5 months ago
This course opened my eyes to so many things. Dr Harari is a wonderful lecturer and made us think about the world as it is now from the viewpoint of history, the winners and loses of revolutions, ways of life that worked that are alternative to ours. I loved the fact that I was informed even though some of that information was a little hard to swallow.
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 5 months ago
Enjoyed the course. Sometimes the lectures were a bit long but still very interesting. A very thought provoking course!
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10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 5 months ago
It is a courageous look at our human condition. What it lacks in terms of detail and analysis of events it more than makes up for in terms of fresh, thought provoking insights into the key shifts in human history, what it means to be human and to participate in human society. An eye opening experience and easily among the best courses I've ever undertaken.
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