What is the author's personal view on civilized and progressive societies versus hunter- gatherers societies?
Overall, Diamond wants to demonstrate that there are no inherent or inborn differences between "civilized" peoples and peoples in hunter-gatherer societies. The fact that some peoples have adopted what we recognize as "civilized," or "modern" societies, which are characterized by settled agriculture, sophisticated governments, and technology, is related instead to geographic circumstances than anything else. In fact, in Chapter 1, Diamond even suggests that people in less "civilized" societies might be genetically inclined to be more intelligent than those in modern societies, because the major causes of death in less civilized socieites (murder, war, food gathering problems, etc.) tended to kill fewer intelligent people than others. The major causes of death in settled agricultural societies, including major epidemics, killed people without regard to their intelligence.