Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-12 > 1196563343

From: "Ken Nordtvedt" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] GENEALOGY-DNA Digest, Vol 2, Issue 1994
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 19:42:23 -0700
References: <><>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Lobdill" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2007 7:12 PM
Subject: Re: [DNA] GENEALOGY-DNA Digest, Vol 2, Issue 1994

> At 12:53 PM 12/1/2007, Ken Nordtvedt wrote:
>>Is wikipedia now the official authority for the List?
>>I believe Diamond picks and chooses (and omits) from a long list of
>>factors for peoples' "success" in order to suit his agenda.
> Do you have a problem with his thesis that collapse of the various
> civilizations was caused by the factors he discusses?


You can read "collapse" of some, but it seems just as much about intrusions
by other civilizations with more powerful tools and techniques. In other
words, the collapsed societies might in some cases have gone on indefinately
without the intrusions.
> If so, how about debunking one of his examples and providing an
> equally plausible alternative cause.

When a relative handful of conquistadors conquered some gigantic western
hemisphere civilizations in the blink of an eye, I think it was ideas,
belief systems, and institutions that were more powerful than the horses and
guns, the latter by the way I learned about in 4th grade history book so was
neither original nor profound. Diamond's book is not the first to "explain"
the flow of major history events and changes with such a simple repertoire
of factors; many historians have done so in the past. Diamond just went too
heavy on the naturalistic factors impinging on people from the outside and
too light on the things in peoples' heads guiding their actions for better
or worse. It seems to me like trying to understand an elephant without
considering his trunk. Such books are fun to read, but I always find the
meal unfulfilling.


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