12. What were the main advantages of horses over llamas? What are the main qualities that
Spaniards were looking for in a sword? How were these qualities achieved?
16. Why did Diamond once argued that agriculture was bad for human health (at least
compared to the type of food collected by hunter-gatherers)? What are the main counter-
arguments used by people who argue that the hunting-gathering lifestyle was not superior to
farming? According to these latter people, why would hunting-gathering people remain stable
18. Draw Jared Diamond's schematic overview of the chains of causation leading up to
proximate historical factors from ultimate historical factors (or, in other words, the factors
underlying the broadest patterns of history).
25. In Diamond's opinion, why is an east-west continental axis preferable to a north-south
27. Why does H. F. Dobyns argue that the first Europeans who moved inland into the
Americas encountered recently depopulated landscapes? Why are some scholars critical
of the high numbers of then recently diseased people put forward by Dobyns?
28. What are the diverse ways by which microbes spread from one person to another, and from
animals to people? Why should a germ evolve the apparently self-defeating strategy of killing its
29. How do humans physiologically cope with germs?
30. What are the main characteristics of infectious diseases that visit us as epidemics? What is
the reason why these characteristics tend to make a disease run in epidemics?
31. According to Diamond, why did agriculture launch the evolution of infectious diseases?
32. According to Rodolfo Acuña-Soto, what was "cocolitzli" (and what was it not)? According to
Bruce Stutz, what is Acuña-Soto's explanation of what happened in Mexico during the
epidemics of 1545 and 1576? 33. According to Heather Pringle, what did the Chinchorro mummies taught us about the vital
statistics of these people?
34. What is Charles Kay's "keystone species" theory and what are its implication for the
observed number of American bisons and other species in the second half of the nineteenth
35. According to Robert Nelson, how did the rinderpest epidemics affect Southeast Africa's
ecosystems a century ago? How does it still affect our current perception of these ecosystems?
36. According to Michael Coe, what are the traditional and currently controversial view of the
past inhabitants of the Amazon and Orinoco basins? What is the main evidence put forward by
the revisionists to support their argument? What do other authors similarly argue regarding the
Pre-Columbian history of the Caribbean Islands?
37. What is terra preta? How much of the Amazonian basin is it thought by some researchers to
cover? What are its main characteristics according to some researchers?
38. What use did Charles Kay make of the Lewis and Clark journals? What was his main
conclusion regarding the areas in which wildlife thrived at the time of the expedition?
39. According to Clark Erickson, what is the "myth of the pristine environment"? How does it
relate to biodiversity? According to William Cronon, what is the "myth of wilderness"? In his
opinion, how natural is wilderness (and what does he mean by his answer)?
40. What were the two main ways by which writing was diffused? According to Diamond,
what are the four main factors influencing the acceptance of new technologies? What
does he mean when he says that the history of technology was an autocatalytic process?
41. According to Diamond, what are the factors involving economics or the organization of
society that explain differences in receptivity to new ideas and technologies among societies?
Explain each briefly.
42. According to Diamond, how does life expectancy affect the differences in receptivity to new
ideas and technologies among societies? What ideological reasons al