Guns, Germs, and Steel Questions and Answers
by Jared Diamond

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According to Guns, Germs, and Steel, what five factors contributed to the transition from hunter gatherer to farming?

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Diamond argues that the "neolithic transition" from food gathering to agriculture evolved gradually, with long periods in which the two modes of food provision coexisted. Several different factors contributed to the shift.

One of the main factors was a lack of wild animals suitable for hunting and a lack of plants suitable for gathering. This in turn was due to either climate change or to animal population declines because of unsustainable volumes of hunting and gathering. This would make agriculture and domestication of animals more attractive.

Next, once one society began to domesticate plants and animals, neighboring societies would emulate them, meaning that the idea would spread rapidly. As agriculture and the domestication of animals is far more efficient than hunting and gathering and allows for urbanization and specialization of labor, societies that had undergone the neolithic transition would have been more powerful and numerous than hunter-gatherer neighbors and would have...

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