He points out that there are animals that can co-operate in large numbers but inflexibly like the social insects bees, ants and termites. And there are animals that can co-operate flexibly but in small numbers, like the social apes, dolphins, elephants, wild dogs, and others. This includes extinct hominids like Neanderthals. What makes humans unique is that they are the only animal that can co-operate flexibly in large numbers. And this is possible not because of language per se, but because of our capacity to create, propagate and share share stories (or myths), a form of meaning-making. Some of the most powerful myths are religious ones, which explains their durability despite their questionable claims to truth. Indeed, beside the world religions, the most powerful entities on the planet at this point in history are based on myths: the nation state and global corporations.
Harari's claims are especially interesting and gratifying to students of literature and myth, whose subject matter is sometimes dismissed by scientists as mere fiction or, even worse, outright falsehoods. However, even Plato, who condemned poets as peddlers of fiction, based his ideal society on a "noble lie". Of course, myths can be harmful or beneficial, and, since they often have enormous consequences, should be studied and criticised.