What are the strengths and weaknesses of Jared Diamond's theory in Guns, Germs, and Steel?

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In the now-classic study Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, Jared Diamond argues that some civilizations developed technology and power more quickly than others not because of any inherent genetic superiority but rather due to environmental differences. For instance, the east-west axis of the Eurasian continent, as well as the prevalence of plants and animals that could be domesticated, enabled civilizations to develop much more rapidly than in North America and South America, where the north-south axis hindered travel and there were less plants and animals suitable for domestication. In other words, the advancement of some civilizations rather than others is due to geographical differences rather than differences in intelligence, morality, or genes.

One of the strengths of Diamond's theory is in its anti-racist stance. According to Diamond, no race of humans is inherently superior or inferior. Instead, differences in development have to do with the surrounding...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 9, 2020