Summary Of Guns, Germs And Steel

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In the book Guns,Germs and Steels, Jared Diamond illuminates how and why the human societies of different continents followed widely divergent pathways of development over the past 13,000 years. However, Mcneil thinks, though Diamond makes a good case for the critical importance of continental differences in the wild plant and animal species available as starting material for domestication, he puts too much effort to reduce history to the level of biological science. In my perspective, Diamond frames his book around “Yali’s questions”, and his answers to those questions are simple in principle but complex in detail. One of the most important viewpoints of Jared Diamond is that he proposes, before culture was advanced enough, small differences…show more content…
He asserts that the development of human societies and cultures has nothing to do with natural selection. For instance, in Chapter four, he analyzes why most big wild mammal species were never domesticated. “In this chapter, he quotes Tolstoy’s great work Anna karenina and thus calls his principle “Anna Karenina Principle” in which Diamond explains a feature of animal domestication that had heavy consequences for human history---that so many seemingly suitable big wild mammal species, such as zebras and peccaries, have never been domesticated and that the successful domesticates were almost exclusively Eurasian”(11-12). Furthermore, he puts forward that the importance of domesticated mammals rests on surprisingly few species of terrestrial herbivores. The reason behind such phenomenon is obvious: aquatic mammals were difficult to maintain and breed until the development of modern sea world facilities. From this aspect, we can see that it was the development of science and technology rather than the natural selection that determines whether a species is able to be domesticated or not. Two forces were at work--- first, the human selection of the most useful animals, and second, the natural selection for the optimization in the huma n environments compared to the wild. This is the same as what he has discussed of plants. Nevertheless, Mcneill, on one hand, confirms that Diamond makes a good point Eurasia on east-west axis as opposed to north south continents, but he, on the other hands, doubts whether it should be as bid a part of development as Diamond makes it out to be, because in his view, geographic reductionism is radically out of fashion these
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