GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2007-12 > 1196598506
From: Jerry Lobdill <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] Jared Diamond
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2007 06:28:26 -0600
Thanks for your reply.
You seem to be critiquing "Guns, Germs, and Steel" here,
not "Collapse". I am referring to "Collapse". Please explain how
Diamond went off track in diagnosing the demise of the Greenland
Vikings and the Easter Islanders.
At 10:29 PM 12/1/2007, you wrote:
> > 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