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Guns Germs and Steel

Guns Germs and Steel

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Published by api-26904714
This is an e book based on the TV series on Human Evolution. It is based on the famous book by Jared Diamond with the same title . This script contains the trascript of the three episodes and the other background material about the thoery of evolution. Diamomd discusses the subject with authority.
This is an e book based on the TV series on Human Evolution. It is based on the famous book by Jared Diamond with the same title . This script contains the trascript of the three episodes and the other background material about the thoery of evolution. Diamomd discusses the subject with authority.

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Published by: api-26904714 on Oct 18, 2008
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03/18/2014

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Guns Germs and SteelBy Jared DiamondOverview
 
Based on Jared Diamond's Pulitzer Prize-winningbook of the same name,
Guns, Germs and Steel 
 traces humanity's journey over the last 13,000years – from the dawn of farming at the end of thelast Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-firstcentury.
 
Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago,Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest tounderstand the roots of global inequality.
Why were Europeans the ones to conquer so much of our planet?
Why didn't the Chinese, or the Inca, become masters of the globe instead?
Why did cities first evolve in the Middle East?
Why did farming never emerge in Australia?
And why are the tropics now the capital of global poverty?As he peeled back the layers of history to uncover fundamental, environmental factors shaping thedestiny of humanity, Diamond found both his theoriesand his own endurance tested.The three one-hour programs were filmed across four continents on High Definition digital video, andcombinied ambitious dramatic reconstruction withmoving documentary footage and computer animation.They also include contributions from Diamond himself and a wealth of international historians, archeologists and scientists.
Guns, Germs, and Steel 
is a thrilling ride through the elemental forces whichhave shaped our world – and which continue to shape our future.An Inca processionWomen farming inPapua New Guinea
 
Episode One : Out of Eden
 
Jared Diamond’s journey of discovery began on theisland of Papua New Guinea. There, in 1974, a localnamed Yali asked Diamond a deceptively simplequestion:“Why is it that you white people developed so muchcargo, but we black people had little cargo of our own?”
 Diamond realized that Yali’s question penetrated the heartof a great mystery of human history -- the roots of globalinequality.Why were Europeans the ones with all the cargo? Why had they taken over so much of the world, instead of the native people of New Guinea? How did Europeans end up withwhat Diamond terms the agents of conquest: guns, germs and steel? It was these agents of conquest that allowed 168 Spanish conquistadors to defeat an Imperial Inca army of 80,000 in 1532, and set a pattern of European conquest which would continue right up tothe present day.Diamond knew that the answer had little to do with ingenuity or individual skill. From hisown experience in the jungles of New Guinea, he had observed that native hunter-gatherers were just as intelligent as people of European descent -- and far moreresourceful. Their lives were tough, and it seemed a terrible paradox of history that theseextraordinary people should be the conquered, and not the conquerors.To examine the reasons for European success, Jared realized he had to peel back thelayers of history and begin his search at a time of equality – a time when all the peoplesof the world lived in exactly the same way.
Time of Equality
 At the end of the last Ice Age, around thirteen thousand years ago, people on allcontinents followed a so-called Stone Age way of life – they survived by hunting andgathering the available wild animals and plants. When resources were plentiful, this wasa productive way of life.But in times of scarcity, hunting and gathering was a precarious mode of survival.Populations remained relatively small, and the simple task of finding food occupied everywaking moment.Around eleven and a half thousand years ago, the world's climate suddenly changed. InA tropical rainforest inPapua New Guinea
 
an aftershock of the Ice Age, temperatures plummeted and global rainfall reduced. Theimpact of this catastrophe was felt most keenly in an area known as the Fertile Crescent,in the modern Middle East. Here, hunter-gathers had thrived on some of the most usefuland plentiful flora and fauna in the world. They had even developed semi-permanentsettlements to exploit the resources around them. Now, with their food options disappearing from the menu on a daily basis, these peopledid something remarkable. They began to cultivate the hardiest species of surviving plants and animals, even bringing seeds back to their villages and planting new stock.They were becoming farmers.
An Agricultural Revolution
 Diamond learns that the act of transplanting a wild plant and placing it under human control totally transforms that plant'sDNA. Characteristics which aid survival in the wild,disappear in favor of qualities which suit humanconsumption. The plant becomes domesticated – and whollydependent on human control for survival.Only a handful of places in the world played host to thisagricultural revolution. In most cases, plant domesticationwas a precursor to the development of advancedcivilizations. Along with the Fertile Crescent in the MiddleEast, independent domestication of wild plants is believed to have occurred in AncientChina, in Central and Southern America, in sub-Tropical Africa, and in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.So, Diamond asks, why did each of these parts of the world go on to develop advancedcivilizations, while the farmers of New Guinea were apparently left behind?
The luck of the draw
 Diamond discovers that the answer lies in a geographical luck of the draw – whatmattered were the raw materials themselves.Of all the plant species in the world, only a limited number are possible, or useful, todomesticate. To Diamond's astonishment, most of these species are native to Europe andAsia – species like wheat, barley and rice, which grew wild in abundance in only these parts of the world.Two more species are native to Tropical Africa (sorghum and yams) while only one isnative to the Americas (corn), and to Papua New Guinea (taro). Not a single domesticable plant grows wild in Australia.Development of earlyfarming in the FertileCrescent

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