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ggr329 Lec 2.doc

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Pierre Desrochers

GGR329 Lecture 2: Out of Africa 1. Introduction 2. Yali’s Questions 3. Up to the Starting Line 4. A Natural Experiment of History Until 1960s, European colonial conquest – racial and ethnic superiorities. By 1990s, alternative scenarios: - Western European combat advantage o Arquebuses o Muskets o Cannons - Eurasian diseases – new world populations o Small pox o Typhus fever o Measles o Viral hepatitis o Many others Diamond et al. - Broad synthesis looking for ultimate causes Specialized historians - Fragmented knowledge - Don’t look for main causes for anything GGR329 Yali’s Question Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own. (Full name: Yali Singina (1912-1975) of Sor) Diamond’s Reformulation… Why did human development proceed at such different rates on different continents? Diamond’s (preliminary) answer (10:00 on recording) Nothing to do with - Biological differences - Intelligence - Traditional ED arguments Advanced Societies - Evolution (resistance diseases) - Passive entertainment (TV) Stone Age societies - Evolution (intelligence) - No Passive Entertainment (Book: The Bell Curve – Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray) 1994.  The book was wrong…suckaa Diamond’s Short Answer History followed different courses for different peoples b/c of differences among peoples’ environment, not b/c of biological differences among people themselves. GGR329 Diamond and Traditional ED 1. Racial or genetic superiority a. No objective evidence 2. Cold climate stimulates inventiveness a. But Europeans inherited i. Agriculture ii. Wheels iii. Writing iv. Metallurgy (from warm climate peoples!) 3. Lowland river valleys in dry climates depended on irrigation and centralized bureaucracies a. Nile river valley b. Tigris and Euphrates valley c. Yellow and Yangtze valleys But irrigation systems followed, not accompanied, bureaucracies – Agriculture originated in hills and mountains. 4. Guns, infectious diseases, steel tools, manufactured products… a. E.g. Small Pox. Yes, but immediate or proximate reasons. Why Europeans rather Africans/Native Americans? Diamond’s Goal New synthesis of broad patterns based on recent findings in varied scientific disciplines. GGR329 Up to the Starting Line Origins of life - Earth formed – 4. G - Life appears – 3.6 G - Multicellular fauna – 600 M In Short - 2M ya: hunter gatherer ancestors began to grow roughly exponentially in number and in world product, multiplied by 2 about 250,000 - 10 000 ya: humans quickly adopted farming and transitioned to growing exponentially much faster - 200 ya: human world product … Much speculations (could be multiregional), but Out of Africa theory most plausible - New species constantly appear in Eastern Africa - And then move out Protohumans - 4 mya, upright posture - 2.5 mya, increase in o Body size o Relative brain size Humans out of Africa approx. 1 M - When new species can adapt to less suitable climate. GGR329 100,000 years ago, Several species of hominids: - Neandertahls (Europe) - H. erectus (Asia and China) - H. Sapiens (Africa) 30000 years ago Only H. sapiens was left (?, Island of Flores, Indonesia) Modern humans - 100,000 years ago On top of fire, - Warm c
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