Some 6000 years ago, Austronesian peoples (descendants of the early Chinese) migrated into Indonesia, the Philippines, and New Guinea, where they encountered other societies that had been there for many thousands of years. How, according to Guns, Germs, and Steel, can we explain the different outcomes of these encounters in Indonesia and New Guinea?
The answer to this question can be found in Chapter 17 of the book. Specifically, it can be found beginning on p. 350 of the paperback edition. When thinking about the answer, we should remember the main theme of the book. The main theme of the book is that geography leads to agriculture and agriculture leads to powerful societies. Thus, we should expect that different outcomes would be due to differences in...
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