【English/日本語】Read an English book📖英語の本を読もう📚Sapiens―chapter#4 Reach to Outer World

🇺🇸English✕ 上級日本語🇯🇵

英語でSapiens を読もう📖#4


For English learners!

Hello everyone, how’s your English learning journey going?😃 Reading an English book is sometimes a long journey. You might inadvertently stop if you are alone. But no worries. You are at the right place already. I would like to explore an English book here so that you can try reading the book with me. We are not alone. Let’s enjoy a fun time reading!

The book, which I picked up this time, is called Sapiens, published by Yuval Noah Harari. The Amazon Kindle link below allows you to read up to chapter 3. Today, I am covering chapter.4.

You can check out my recommending strategy of reading with a link below.

Okay then, let’s get started📖






Ch.4 The Flood

第4章 史上最も危険な種

Grasp the structure!🦧構成を把握する

To grasp the chapter, you just try to see its hierarchical configuration. I strongly recommend drawing it either physically or virtually.


What enabled Sapiens to reach and settle Australia?

Sapiens in Indonesia developed seafaring societies and sophisticated vessels and sailing skills and made this happen.

What happened to Australian mammals?

Numerous unknown marsupials mammals vanished(mass extinctions) within a few thousand years: 23 pieces out of 24.


Three theories why animals vanished.

Theory 1: the vagaries of the climate caused it.
  • Conflicted point 1: The giant diprotodon survived at least 10 previous ice ages. The new weather patterns don’t explain why it didn’t survived 45,000 years ago.
  • Conflicted point 2:The oceanic fauna didn’t extinct when the terrestrial ones were obliterated. Therefore, the climate changes don’t explain fully.
Theory 2: Sapiens caused it.
  • Evidence: the historical record showed that this archetypal decimation repeatedly occurred when Sapiens appeared.
    • Ex.) It happened 800 years ago, when the Maoris reached New Zealand’s islands.
  • How?
    • Explanation 1) Sapiens hunting outweighed large animals’ slow breeding speed.
    • Explanation 2) Unlike animals in Africa and Asia, Australian animals were not given time to evolve to avoid manace Sapiens since they emerged suddenly from outer world.
    • Explanation 3) The eucalyptus fossil implies that Sapiens burned vast areas, made hunting easier.
Theory 3: Sapiens + climate change
  • The combination of climate change and Sapiens hunting caused it.


How did Sapiens reach America?
  • B.C. 14,000
    • Sapiens crossed Siberia to Alaska around with effective thermal clothing, weapons, sophisticated hunting techniques. The chase of mammoths and other animals made Sapiens reached America.
  • B.C. 12,000
    • The global warming opened an easier passage.
  • By B.C. 10,000,
    • Sapiens already inhabited the most southern point in America with imcomparable ingenuity and unsurpassed adaptability.
What happened to American megafauna?
  • The Americas were a great laboratory of evolutionary experimentation and within 2,000 years of the Sapiens arrival, most of them were gone: lost 34 out of 47 genera of large mammals in North America, lost 50 out of 60 in South America. In the places where Sapiens settled comparatively later, animals lasted longer until then.
  • Evidence conflicted against climate change; ground-sloth in the Caribbean islands remained static for 7,000 years while the western hemisphere warmed.


Remoteness determines the destiny
  • The case in Madagascar
    • a unique collection of animals evolved there, such as 3m-tall largest birds called elephant birds, were extinct when Sapience set foot on the island about 1,500 years ago.
  • The case in Galapago
    • a few extremely remote island, such as Galapagos, escaped this disaster and kept their fauna intact, by remaining uninhabited by humans.
Three waves of extinction
  • The first wave
    • accompanied the spread of the foragers.
  • The second wave
    • accompanied the spread of the farmers.
  • The third wave
    • it is about to happen by industrial activity. The industrial pollution and human overuse of oceanic resources have endangered the larger sea animals.


Summarize the chapter concisely🦧章を一言でまとめる

To summarize, check the hierarchical configuration and make sentences with important points of each.


Sapiens, who had the Cognitive Revolution, became the first larger terrestrial mammals to manage to cross from Afro-Asia to Australia. They brought a big impact to the ecosystems on the planets, where the landmass of ‘Outer World’ and ‘Afro-Asia’ had evolved distinctively and boasted unique and various animals and plants. Considering the fact that many terrestrial mammals vanished once Sapiens step on their lands, it is feasible that Sapiens took a crucial role to decimate other mammals rather than it caused only by climate change.


Make five questions to discuss🦧5つの質問を作る

To discuss, make questions. It gives you a great topic to talk about in English.


Interpretive question 解釈的質問

What does it mean? How are the parts connected? what is the reason for people’s actions?

There is more than one possible answer, but the viewer’s opinion is based directly on the text.



My opinion:

Noah’s Ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative through which God spares Noah, his family, and examples of all the world’s animals from a world-engulfing flood.

Considering that the author titled this chapter as the flood, implying Sapiens’ journeys, it seems that he asserts that the flood that appeared in Noah’s Ark is not floodwater, but the flood of Sapiens. And, he might imply that it was not that the all the world’s animals were spared by God, but that Sapiens decimated all the animal except animals that benefits to them.




five questions for discussion🦧ディスカッション用の5つの質問

How does this make me feel? What does it remind me of?

There are many correct answers that are related to one’s experience; they can be found outside of the text/speech.

  • Have you ever…?
  • Does it make you angry when…?
  • Which part did you like?
  • How hard was this to understand?



  • こんな経験ありますか
  • こんなとき、怒った気持ちになりますか
  • どのパートが気に入りましたか
  • これを理解するのは難しかったですか

What does it say?

One correct answer is found in the text.

  • Who is …?
  • What happens first?
  • Where are …?
  • What is the difinition of this word?



  • これは誰?
  • 何が最初に起きた?
  • これはどこですか?
  • この言葉の定義はなんですか?

What does it mean? How are the parts connected? what is the reason for people’s actions?

There is more than one possible answer, but the viewer’s opinion is based directly on the text.

  • Why did the speaker…?
  • What can we say about the speaker’s point of view?
  • What is the significance of the title?
  • What did the speaker mean when they said…?



  • どうして話者は...?
  • 話者の視点について、どんなことが言えますか。
  • タイトルにはどんな意味があるでしょう。
  • 話者が...といったのはどういう意味でしょう。

What is the message beyond this presentation? What are the greater issues or questions this piece deals with?

The presentation is not directly referenced in the question. There are many possible answers found outside of the presentation, but it’s a starting point.

  • How do people…?
  • Why do people…?
  • What is the truth about…?



  • 人々はどうやって...?
  • どうして人々は...?
  • ...の真実は何でしょう?

How effective is the presentation in whole or in part? Why did the speaker/author make these choices and how well do they work?

Many possible answers can be found outside of the presentation but it’s a reference.

  • Is it realistic when …?
  • How does the speaker use … to show …?
  • Would this be better if …?
  • Is the speaker biased towards/against…?



  • この箇所は現実味がありますか。
  • 話者がこの...をどのように表現しましたか。
  • もし...であればもっとよかったですか。
  • 話者は...の考え方に偏っていますか。

Expressions and terms🦧覚えておきたい単語・表現

Pick some terms that you are unfamiliar with from sentences you high-lightened and memorize them.


termexample sentence
mammalsSapiens was the first terrestrial mammal had managed to cross from Afro-Asia to Australia.
even though terrestrial mammals vanished about 45,000 years ago, oceanic fauna didn’t extinct.
culpritSapiens is the culprit.
landmassSapiens climbed to the top rung in the food chain on a particular landmass.
termexample sentence

This is the last chapter of the Cognitive Revolution and it gives a great sight of what did it mean to Sapiens. Is Sapiens a cruel animal? Or, is it just that the Cognitive Revolution happened to give it an untouchable ability? I am very sorry that the Japanese translation version changed the chapter title completely and kill the interesting author’s message😟.


日本語版の本は、章タイトル “The Flood” を完全に変えて、著者のおもしろいメッセージの効果を減らしてしまっているのがとても残念です😟