I started reading Sapiens last week. I’m only one chapter in, and I need to interject.
The first chapter gives an in-depth look at how different pre-human ancestors lived, and homo sapiens eventually ruled them all.
Here’s my take on it. It’s much simpler. If you assume that we all came from the same DNA, could different species exist? Yes, sort of. You have these different people on different parts of the globe, with different DNA. Not all that different, but up to four percent, according to Harari. We know that DNA is not stationary, and that the diet, lifestyle, and particular stresses associated with these populations would have mutated their genes differently. So, of course, you have different populations with different physical characteristics, because they evolved based on their particular environment.
I’d compare it to remote jungle tribes with little or no communication with the outside world, and a very distinct culture, mindset, and diet. They may look, act, and appear different than us, but we still call them humans.
So how did all the other species ‘die off’?
They didn’t. Well there’s the flood, which was a sort of convergence. I see it more that as resources became more plentiful, and diversity of food, lifestyle, and religion seeped from culture to culture, the DNA began to converge as well. Not that we are all so similar, but we’re all so different that it’s hard to call them different species any more.