Guns, Germs, and Steel: Review Haiku

Take a way-cool topic
and suck the life out of
it. Bueller? Bueller?

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. Norton, 1999, 494 pages. Listened to on a Playaway device.

#44 on The LIST.

Note: To be fair, the version I listened to was abridged. Perhaps the full text is more exciting.


PJ Rooks said...
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Anonymous said...

Diamond does not give his readers the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In fact, he gives them much less. Inexcusably for an evolutionary biologist, Diamond fails to inform his readers that it is different environments that cause, via natural selection, biological differences among populations.

What seems to be true (from preliminary studies) is that the gene variants that were under strong selection (reached fixation) over the last 10k years are different in different clusters. That is, the way that modern people in each cluster differ, due to natural selection, from their own ancestors 10k years ago is not the same in each cluster — we have been, at least at the genetic level, experiencing divergent evolution.

In fact, recent research suggests that 7% or more of all our genes are mutant versions that replaced earlier variants through natural selection over the last tens of thousands of years. There was little gene flow between continental clusters (”races”) during that period, so there is circumstantial evidence for group differences beyond the already established ones (superficial appearance, disease resistance).


I'm Valerie said...

The full version was NOT more exciting. Love your haiku.