What is a an opposing viewpoint to Diamond's thesis about Europeans and New Guineans in Guns, Germs, and Steel?
Tell me what do you think other than geographical advantages could have given the Europeans the major advantage and not New Guineans? And if possible tell me why?
The most likely opposing viewpoints are the ones that are already stated in the Prologue of the book. Many scholars have thought a lot about this and have come up with the most plausible other explanations. Of these, the one that seems most likely to me is that there is something about European culture that made Europeans more open to change and advancement.
Having grown up in a "primitive" culture in Micronesia, I know that people in such cultures can often have a very different attitude towards life than Westerners. They can seem to be very complacent and act as if there is no hurry. Everything can wait, there is no need to worry about the future.
It could be that this sort of cultural trait is responsible for the New Guineans' "backwardness." It could be that it comes from the fact that their culture evolved in a relatively easy climate where innovation and "hustle and bustle" were not necessary. Of the possible alternatives to Diamond's view, this is the one that seems most plausible to me. This alternative says that there is nothing wrong with New Guineans themselves but that their culture was too easy-going and not really conducive to change and progress.