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Lecture 3

HIST 2312 Lecture 3: Guns, Germs and Steel - Out of Eden Lecture Discussion

Course Code
HIST 2312
Brooke Franks

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Guns Germs and Steel - Out of Eden
Diamond’s quest to answer "Yalis" Question of why some societies are advanced and
some are not, led him to look at the time when there was not any inequality among the societies.
After studying the historical records of 13000 years ago, Diamond has proposed the answer by
saying that the reason that some societies lagged behind and some moved forward lies in the
geography of the places they lived. He argued that the inequality has nothing to do with the racial
difference or ingenuity. Rather, it was more about the geographical advantages or disadvantages
which one place offered to one society while became a challenge for another. According to him,
the pre-agricultural and pro-domestication-of-animal lands were the ones where civilizations
prospered and gave the humans the opportunity to be more productive in feeding themselves. It
led these societies to live in larger communities and work as groups with all having specialties in
different fields of work. He argues that the increased productivity in feeding themselves led them
to have extra time for development and grooming of other skills in making tools, making houses,
and etc.
The argument that Diamond put forward is very strong in this respect that it answers how
Eurasia became the central point of technology and advancement and how Australasia, Africa,
and America lagged behind. It answers the doubts of those racists who think Europeans have
greater ingenuity than the ones who have not developed such technologies.
Another fact which is overlooked is that humans have not accounted for any of the
success or failure of the civilizations. The decisions that humans took or did not take were not
given any contribution. Moreover, the culture, religion, leadership and many other factors are
also overlooked in this study.
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