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Ideas That Shaped Mankind flows from internationally respected historian Felipe FernAndez-Armesto’s views on the notion that man’s capacity to produce ideas in itself brings about sweeping changes in the world. This ability, seen most profoundly in individual, startling moments of genius—or equally startling moments of chance—is what separates humans from the animals and allows humans to re-imagine the world in ever more complex designs. From the earliest ideas, including cannibalism and the idea of farming, to theories of relativity and chaos, ideas reshape the world in surprising and wholly unexpected ways. Science, agriculture, religion, art, politics—Professor FernAndez-Armesto examines all these areas of thought and the moments in time when man’s fertile intellect produced the sparks that set off blazes of change, even revolutions, that would forever alter the course of human history.