1. The commonly espoused answers to Yali’s question are biological differences, and geography. Some scientists try to show that people of certain races have lower IQ’s than people of different races. Diamond states that this is not right because the persons intelligence is based on what type of education they had and what type of society that they live in. He says on page 20 that when he worked with New Guineans, they showed that they were more intelligent in other matters such as hunting and finding food. They could navigate through the jungle very easily.
Also some scientists say that only Eurasians are smart Diamond states on page 25 that they have more cargo because their society requires that they do. Diamond says that this thought is illogical because if a person that is not Eurasian was presented with every opportunity that an Eurasian was they would be successful as well. 2. Diamond states that New Guineans could be smarter because they have societies that have people live in smaller numbers. This limits epidemics in that society. He also says that modern children are doing stuff unproductive in their free time.
On page 21 he says, “In the average American household, the TV set is on for seven hours per day. ” New Guinean children do outdoor stuff for entertainment and thus build skills that can help them build skills that will help them when they are older. 3. On page 23 he makes a hypotheses with an example of how guns helped certain societies to win over others. It is important to differentiate between proximate and ultimate causes because it will allow the person to know the overall cause, and the detailed cause. You need to know both of the causes to fully understand the topic. Ultimate causes refers to why, and proximate causes refers to how.
4. I think that his methodology that were civilizations have settled are more compelling because no one thought that just by settling somewhere you can discover some sort of crop and then with that crop domesticate animals, build a civilization, and raise an army. This methodology is compelling because this happens just by a single crop. 5. The importance of the placement of the chapters is that it will allow Diamond to address the rise of Europeans. He talked about Collision at Cajamarca first so that the readers know that at that point of time, Europeans had the upper hand in guns germs and steel.
After this he will go back to the beginning and explain why that event occurred the way it did, and that the Indians did not go to Spain and defeat them instead. The rest of the book spends time explaining in detail how these types of events have one side greatly beating the other through food, writing, and armies. 6. Polynesian islands are an experiment because the same type of people colonized the islands but the societies that they turned to are extremely different. It shows that the societies turned out the way they did because of the facilities that they had on that islands.
For example on page 57, Diamond talks about Maori and Moriori collision. They were part of the same society until one group broke off and settled at a small island that only had small shellfish and eels. The island was also not big so they could not house many people. This small society’s population was very small. The Maori had a very large island and bigger prey. This allowed them to feed more people and to keep more stored food. Neighboring islands were not friendly with them so they had a sizable army. The Maori came across Moriori and they slaughtered them.
These two civilizations were once one civilization. 7. Diamond challenged our assumption by explaining how farming provided more benefits than hunting and gathering. In chapter 6, Diamond explains that once people discovered farming they reaped the benefit of more food. Then with more food, they could feed more people so they had a larger population. Hunter Gathers could move away if they had a conflict with another group. Farmers could not move because their crops are in one place. This led to the development of an army. Also farmers domesticated animals so they could use them for plowing or food.
This way they had an abundance of food. Also in this type of society not everyone spent their time farming. There was another group of people that spent their time making items that is useful for farming or for the army. This way the ruling class rose there was a hierarchy of people. In a hunter-gathering society, almost everyone is equal. 8. Farming is an auto-catalytic process because it makes more food to allow a higher population. On page 111, he explains that the more food you can grow the bigger population you can sustain.
That higher population makes an even more higher population, this would mean that farmers would need to work harder or that there should be more farmers than necessary. Since there is more food being produced every year, more people can be supported, and thus will have a bigger population. Then the population will increase and increase. 9. Almonds were domesticated because they were easy to domesticate, fast growing, and had no dangerous substance inside them. Acorn farmers had to wait until the acorn grew into a tree and acorns also contained tannins which is not good for our body.
Our ancestors did not know about tannins, they just knew that it tasted bitter, so they were not domesticated. Almonds tasted good so they domesticated them. On page 119, Diamond explains the different factors that make plants suitable for domestication. Acorns only have some of the factors while almonds have many of the factors. 10. American apple trees and grape vines were not domesticated until the Europeans came because planting these types of plants is very complex. To plant these types of plants you need to know the different body parts of the plants and also differentiate the plants if they are a boy or a girl.
On page 143, Diamond explains that you many small societies still use wild plants but their plants are not big like the mutant plants that we use. The native americans that lived in America were nomadic so they had no use to domesticate apple trees. To domesticate these plants, you also need to find mutant plants that have all the suitable traits for human consumption. 11. Diamond explains in chapter 10 that the middle east is the starting point in where food production started and is also the place where the most animals that were able to be domesticated resided.
There was a problem though. The middle east’s environment was very delicate and could change temperatures anytime. There were no seasons. That is why the people who settled in those areas spread their food and animals to other areas. Diamond explains that anywhere in the world you go the surroundings will be the same if you go on the same longitudinal line. The middle east spread even west and settled in areas like spain and such. The countries to the North copied their neighbors to the south and thus Europe became areas with great civilizations. 12.
Diamond explains that to domesticate animals, all factors needs to be fulfilled. Some factors are size of animal, food habits, amount of shyness, use of animal. It does not matter what culture is trying to domesticate animals. The Indians domesticated the cow and buffalo. Diamond says on page 159 that the europeans domesticated the cow, dog, pig, sheep, and horse. The africans did not domesticate many animals. They could have domesticated the zebra, but the zebra is an extremely shy creature and will run away from anything. This tendency comes from being chased by lions. 13.
The Anna Karenina principle states that animals need certain traits to be domesticated. It explains why some civilizations were not able to domesticate animals. An example is the growth of an animal. An elephant takes very long to grow to a size that can be used by people. That is why people capture them when they are grown and then train them. Elephants have never been domesticated. On page 162 Diamond shows a chart that shows the number of animals that could be domesticated and the percentage of animals that were domesticated. 14. On page 179, Diamond explains why different mutations are good.
Diamond says that some mutations may have the seeds plant manually, but the fruit will be very big and will have more nutrition in it. The wild pea is much smaller but the pod pops allowing the pea to be planted. A mutation in the plant has the peas being much bigger but the peas don’t pop. These mutations help us figure out where the first mutation started and allows us to know about the spread of agriculture. 15. Diamond argues that civilization leads to epidemics because a civilization houses many animals which is where we get many of our diseases.
The animal handlers get sick and they spread the germs to the people they know. This happens very fast because everyone lives very close to each other and that will allow the epidemic to spread. In an epidemic, people usually die, or they build an antibody to the germs. The people with the immunity will pass on that immunity to their children. On page 203, Diamond explains that the disease will die out until an infected person comes and infects babies that have not develop that immunity yet. 16. On page 241, Diamond explains the heroic model of invention to be a european or a descendant of a european to do the invention.
Diamond states that if there is a necessity in a society for something, then that thing will be invented. He says that this theses makes more sense than the heroic model of invention. 17. On page 278, Diamond explains that religion was first developed by small chiefdoms for people to have an increased loyalty to the chiefdom. These religions either spread, or that chiefdom grew into a great civilization. This also allows for people to work harder for that supernatural force or for soldiers to give up their lives more willingly to protect the people of their same religion or chiefdom. 18.
On page 325 and 326, Diamond explains that there are 3 types of reasoning to figure out Linguistic Tracing. Scientists have stated that North China has the origin of chinese. South China is from 3 asian languages. Diamond says that usually the native speakers are pushed out or killed leaving the dominants people’s language or their adapted version of that language. He also explained that the Europeans were the ones who most spread their language and with their language, their way of life. 19. On page 336 Diamond explains that the Austronesian’s expanded and took over the Indonesian’s land.
When the Austronesian’s tried to take the New Guinean’s highlanders land, they failed. The Indonesian’s were hunter-gatherers, while the New Guinean’s were farmers. The Austronesian were farmers as well. This shows that farmers are better able to resist other farmers than hunter-gathers such as the Indonesian’s. 20. On page 414, Diamond explains that China’s unity, and Europe’s disunity can be explained with Geography. China has a very flat landscape housing only a few main rivers and some mountains. This allowed China to become one country.
Europe is very diverse in its geography so there is a country with almost each type of geography. The countries in Europe would always compete such as who had the better navy, or the better technology. This allowed Europe to be more advanced than China despite their disunity. China did not need to compete and there was not enough of a need to build a better navy or army such as the Europeans. 21. On page 420, Diamond says that many people assume that Europeans are better because Aboriginals were never able to develop agriculture.
Diamond says that Australia’s people lived far apart and therefore had few innovators. Also, the climate was very dry and unpredictable so the aboriginals could not develop agriculture. The only way was to have agriculture is to have people with develop plant and technology to come in and farm, which is what the Europeans did. Diamond can use this argument in other places such as the americas where the native americans never developed farming. 22. An example of this the animals that were available for domestication.
Lay readers would not have known the different factors that an animal would need to be available fore domestication. An example is the percentage of animals that were able to be domesticated, and the animals that were domesticated. The aspects he explained where how the animals had all the factors that were needed for the Anna Karenina principle. 23. Based on the way Diamond wrote the book and how he feels about the aboriginals not having much technology, I think that Diamond would think that not would prefer the large continent .
He would think that with more society it would be more generalized and would have more of an higher innovating atmosphere. If you are going to compare cultures, than you need to compare with only distinct cultures. 24. Diamond sees history as environmental circumstances that affect society. Throughout the book he shows this by explaining that without the environment giving us crops, we would have never have planted crops and then never built civilizations. Diamond also shows this by giving other examples such as how some people achieved farming while others just stuck to hunting and gathering.
Subject: World History,
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 26 September 2016
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