1.3 For biologist Jared Diamond

1.3 For biologist - For biologist Jared Diamond genetic and biological explanations cannot explain why wealth and power became distributed as they

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Unformatted text preview: For biologist Jared Diamond, genetic and biological explanations cannot explain why wealth and power became distributed as they are now and not in other way. Discuss Diamond’s argument on the rise of the West. Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel- Typical arguments -- Not Jared Diamond’s beliefs o Biological differences – people have different capabilities Genes • Eugenics, Social Darwinism. Some people are superior to others New Guineans use the word cargo to describe the material goods first brought to their country by Westerners. Cargo was regarded by many as evidence of the white man’s power. It was treated with an almost religious reverence. For their part, Western colonials typically believed that power was determined by race. They saw themselves as genetically superior to the native population. To them, it was only natural that they should have so much cargo and New Guineans so little.- Geographical factors- Environ m ent – peoples interaction with their e nvironm ent is key to explaining hu m an wealth and success o Access to resources Societies are similar in abilities but constrained by local e nvironm ent • Jared Diamond: To m e, any explanation bas ed on race is absurd. I know too m a ny really s m art New Guineans to b elieve there’s anything gen etically inferior a bout the m Used things like ste el o Diamond ventures into this discovery by an alyzing the way civilizations started fro the hunter-gath erer tribes to farming (crops & livestock) to m od ern industrializatio All great civilizations h ave h ad so m e things in co m mon – advanced technology large populations, a nd well-organized workforce. o Eurasian Advantag e Climate • People in colder climates had more free time when couldn’t work on fields technological innovation • Drought in the Middle East hard for plants and animals died out o They discovered that the village first emerged 11,500 years ago – at the same time as the end of the drought in the Middle East. Granary’s in the villages o Shift in human behavior where ppl started growing their own food stayed close to a source of water and planted fields of wheat and barley around them became farmers Plants and animals • Plants and food production o Had a natural advantage because had a lot of plants native to the area In the Middle East, there were very different plants to gather. Growing wild between the trees were two cereal grasses, barley and wheat. Far more plentiful and nutritious than sago. These simple grasses would have a profound impact, setting humanity on the course towards modern civilization. But it would take a catastrophic change in the climate before this would happen....
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2010 for the course ECON 430 taught by Professor Arroyoabad during the Fall '10 term at Middlebury.

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1.3 For biologist - For biologist Jared Diamond genetic and biological explanations cannot explain why wealth and power became distributed as they

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