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

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What is Jared Diamond's thesis in Guns, Germs, and Steel and what question is he trying to answer?  

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Alec Cranford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The thesis of Diamond's book is that, in the words of the author:

History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among people's environments, not because of biological differences between peoples themselves (25).

He claims that this view is largely eschewed by most academics. Historians in particular think it diminishes the importance of human action, and argue, according to Diamond, that it is deterministic. In other words, some say that Diamond's view seems to suggest that a people's environment determines everything else about their development, from their culture to the technology they develop. Diamond aspires to write what he calls a "unified synthesis" of a range of disciplines, including human genetics, history, archaeology, evolutionary biology, and epidemiology (26). To put it another way, he says that human history must be established as a "historical science, on a par with recognized historical sciences such as evolutionary biology, geology,...

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