Europe’s many natural barriers allowed the development of competing nation-states. It seeks to provide a simple rationale to explain why inequalities exist between the peoples of the world. An explanation based on geography without any racist element in it. Diamond identifies a mere 14 domesticated large mammal species worldwide. The evolution of technology Ch.

Complete list — — — View all 4 comments. Why were most big wild mammal species never domesticated? He noted earlier on that his was not a qualitative analysis, he was not trying to prove which society was better than others or which cultures produced the happier peoples. The Fates of Human Societies”. This is admittedly minor, but if you indulge in repeated bouts of carelessness like that, you’re going to make me suspicious about the factual foundations of the rest of your arguments. The main thesis of the author is that geographic aspects represent the overwhelming ultimate set of causal factors, and they played out mostly at the very beginning of societal development, mainly in prehistoric times.

It has been a reading pleasure and I learned quite a bit from it.

what is diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

View all 34 whwt. Diamond asserts that Atahuallpa had bad information and it was an obvious trap supported by the advantages of Spanish literacy, but if you look at all the sources the situation is more that he had the right information but chose to be diplomatic in the Incan tradition.

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

There are a lot of fundamentally flawed arguments like that – e. The best candidates for domestication live in herds, maintain a clear herd hierarchy, and overlap ranges with other herds rather than having grems ranges. Surpluses free people to specialize in activities other than sustenance and support population growth. The other continents did not have this ease, which Diamond explains in clear detail with facts and dates.

It is a pity that the author leaves out so many important factors, and so many questions very partially answered such as why did Europe gain supremacy as opposed to China, considering that China, soon before the start of the big European expansion, was as advanced — probably more advanced than — its European counterparts?

This density also allowed for more technological advances, more exposure and protection against herd gems, so that when cultures collided, the more advanced societies were able to dominate.

what is diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

I especially enjoyed the section about tehsis process of domesticating plants and animals. It’s also worth pointing out that even if one accepts Diamond’s thesis as persuasive, it doesn’t actually answer the question he sets out to answer: If only 1 gene were in control, we might have domesticated them pecans even if it were a recessive one.


But as he came to know and appreciate the many native people he met in his work, the question asked by a New Guinean named Yani remained with him. Did you know zebras injure more zookeepers per year than do lions and tigers?

Of course, I am vastly over-simplifying the book and it’s really necessary for one to peruse its pages to get the full understanding.

And yet, we now have high-placed individuals in the US holding these beliefs and poised to poison American youth with medieval and ignorant diamonda such as young-earth creationism.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

To use Jared Diamond’s example: The first step towards civilization is the move from nomadic hunter-gatherer to rooted agrarian society. Yes, buns thought so, but they’ve been refuted for long enough that I thought he belabored the point.

Emory University historian Tonio Andrade writes that Diamond’s book “may not satisfy professional historians on all counts” but that it “does make a bold and compelling case for the different developments that occurred in the Old World versus the New he is less convincing in his attempts to separate Africa from Eurasia. Because of this, Eurasia was able to develop more crops and have them spread around the continent through trade, as well as the spread of domesticated animals, culture and fiamonds importantly, technology.

Guns, Germs, and Steel

The author’s main theory of the critical importance of geography is well supported by several examples even though it must be said that the author appears somewhat selective in his analysis, conveniently alternatively over- or under-emphasizing the importance of geographical barriers in the diffusion of agriculture, trade and buns – he also under-emphasizes the important role played by internal wars, competition and migration in the development of Europe and the Middle East in historical times and the book contains many ideas that are, in my opinion, very important even if not complete nor conclusive in the debate over the reasons why some historical patterns diverged so significantly among the different parts of the globe.


Detailed review to follow!

what is diamonds thesis in guns germs and steel

The actual title should be Germs, More Germs and a bit about Steel And Guns, but not very much on those last two really Natives succumb passively to their fate. The Americas had difficulty adapting crops domesticated at one latitude for use at other latitudes and, in North America, adapting crops from one side of the Rocky Mountains to the other. Diamond touches on why the dominant powers of the last years have been West European rather than East Asian especially Chinese. The central theory may be summarized as follows: In this case, he seeks to understand the plight of indigenous peoples and their subordination to European and Asian cultures in light of evolutionary pressures.

Plus, if he xnd trying to prove an overarching point about the entirety of human history, readers wouldn’t be subjected to his style of argument, which largely consists of applying only certain parts of his thesis at certain points see his arguments regarding the lengths of human un of North American versus how those same arguments are applied regarding Africawaving away diamonss of evidence that would call his thesis into question, and neglecting to include any citations, instead relying on a “Further Reading” section.

How does this square with Diamond’s theory that Africa duamonds geographically predisposed to poverty and backwardness? Societies guuns had a head duamonds in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed writing, technology, government, and organized religion—as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war—and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures.

Given his germ background in botany and geology, it makes sense that he would look for the impact of those factors in the human story. View all 40 comments. Nov 02, Alex Telander rated it it was amazing Shelves: The arguments he seeks to counter are those stating that since “civilization” came to full flower in the Eurasian countries and not in places where other races dominated, that this success indicated innate superiority.