How is farming an "auto-catalytic" process?Jared Diamond

Expert Answers
ladyvols1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Diamond's theory is that societies moved from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to becoming farmers in an "autocatalytic process" of a greater population of people living in a specific area who were "requiring more food, becoming more dependent on agriculture," and  becoming even larger in population.

Secondly Diamond then looked at how plants for "settled agriculture were "domesticated" through a variety of selection mechanisms implemented consciously and unconsciously by early farmers." The farmers didn't realize didn't seem to realize that "by bringing home the largest fruit, s/he was propagating its seeds near her settlement, or that later by planting seeds each year, s/he was selecting for annual plants without seeds that remain dormant."

There is more specific information listed at the links below.

Read the study guide:
Guns, Germs, and Steel

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question