11, 000 BC or 13000 years ago appears frequently in this chapter because it was this time that first developments of agriculture started. Diamond sees the development of agriculture, or rather the food production, as of enormous importance. Diamond reiterates that places that first underwent the development of food production had an enormous advantage of becoming powerful societies. This, hence, forms the fundamental answer to the Yali’s question that the places with geographical advantage developed farming first. Therefore, farming helped these areas to acquire the “guns, germs and steel,” which helped them become prosperous and powerful (Fagan 24).
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In my opinion, the most common significant events presented in this chapter are first, movement of modern human beings out of Africa and second, the “Great leap Forward.” The movement of human beings out of Africa was noteworthy because of the animals that it killed off. Such migration was also pivotal in identification of the places of the world that could get their population rise first. For instance, human beings arrived in North America and Australia late, and this had a significant impact, as the people of such places had some prospects of success. On the other hand, the Great Leap Forward was a momentous event since it allowed humans to develop much greater intellectual capabilities. In essence, this resulted in the eventual creation of real human civilizations and societies (Diamond).
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Human beings moving out into their world could not make animals happy. It is a fact that animals do not have emotions, and if they had emotions and were smart enough to know what was taking, they could have dreaded the coming of human beings. This is because the coming of human beings led to the extinction of some species of animals. Diamond’s argument is that animals were evolving separately from humans, and hence, their preparation evolutionary could not have made them ready for people hunting them. As such, people had to wipe them out when they arrived. Animals, due to these reasons, could not allow people to arrive in their areas and possibly started to hate them.
In the quote Diamond meant that the human beings were becoming more sophisticated at that time. It is that time that Diamond refers to as the “Great Leap Forward,” and this time is when he had to refer human beings as humans. The cause of change could not be visible, but how different human beings became was visible. The human beings had rudimentary tools and could kill animals. No evidence of culture was there before, but after there appeared things denoting culture, such as jewelry. This gave a start to new history as people began to be more intelligent and carry social lives that could be identifiable as humans.
It could not be beneficial for Diamond to be able to show the difference between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens. Diamond describes the difference between the two species as that one had to evolve into another. In addition, there was no enormous change in the cognitive ability, when erectus had changed to sapiens. Furthermore, Homo sapiens had brains smaller than that of erectus, and that they were not downright toolmakers. As such, Diamond could not have had the immense importance of differentiating the two species – Homo erectus and Homo sapiens (Diamond).
The “firsts” showed in the chapter include first colonization of America by human beings between 14000 and 35000 years ago. Second is the first time extermination of human beings from animals, and third is the first use of boats. Fourth is the first confirmation of jewelry. Last is the first human ancestor coming out of Africa (Diamond).
First of all, Diamond will use tools from hard sciences. He has to learn things like the size of seeds of some grasses in various places, and look at the evolutionary strategies of microbes. These research tools are from biological sciences. Second of all, diamond will have to employ using tools from social sciences. These include the natural and thought experiments, for instance, observe the spreading of Polynesian in the pacific. He will observe how it came for the societies to differ basing on the environments. Also, he will have to perform tasks by categorizing civilizations, for instance, when he had to differentiate tribes, chiefdoms and bands in chapter 14 (Diamond).
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