Guns, Germs, and Steel

Today I began reading Jared Diamond’s book, Guns,Germs, and Steel–The Fates of Human Societies. The book won the Pulitzer prize and in it, Diamond attempts to explain why he believes that cultures developed the way they did. For instance, why weren’t the Europeans conquered by North American Indians and why were the Incans, when discovered by Pizarro, employing stone tools used ten thousand years prior in Europe? These questions are largely avoided by modern science because of the terrible truths that may be uncovered should we delve too deep.

To my dismay, not more than say–ten pages into a prologue–Diamond is already displaying the usual pathologies of the political correct. He immediately erects a bulwark against accusations of racism by indicating that he does not, as many 19th century scholars did, think that the differences are because of innate intellectual features among the different races and he proves that he’s not a racist by doing what all unconscious followers of that great deceiver–Jean-Jacques Rousseau–always do: They become racists. He states implicitly that not only does he believe Westerners are not smarter than the indigenous populace of New Guinea,(where Diamond worked studying bird) but that the dark-skinned people of New Guinea are smarter than Westerners. To prove this, he takes up some two and a half pages, using the most inane anecdotal evidence one could imagine, (that is after he says there are genetic reasons for them to be smarter)such as Western children watching too much television and the children of New Guinea never watching it. He connects this to intelligence saying that studies prove that lack of stimulation at young ages reduces potential mental faculties. So his circular reasoning–with no scientific backing, only his general observations, which he admits–produces the conclusion that should a race be less intelligent so as to fail to produce a technology that MAY stunt intelligence, it is actually displaying higher intellect!

We have seen the results of Nobel Prize winning scientists who state that whites have superior IQs when compared to blacks. And if a scientist were to state that he is not racist–in the modern sense of the word–but continue to hold to racial superiority, he would be laughed out of his profession. Diamond displays racism. He says without blinking(because he knows where the outrage over race always comes from) that blacks are smarter than whites.

So I’ve already got an idea as to why this book received the Pulitzer Prize. It says exactly what the Highbrow Intelligentsia of the Pulitzer board want to hear–the Whiteman is bad and dumb, except of course for them.


1 Response to “Guns, Germs, and Steel”

  1. 1 chen019
    June 12, 2010 at 2:37 am

    Diamond’s book is a little out of date on genetics. Recent studies have shown that there was an increase in genetic change with the development of agriculture and population expansion in eurasia. Some of these changes appear to relate to neurological function (see papers by Benjamin Voight, Bruce Lahn or Scott Williams).

    New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade’s book ‘Before the Dawn’ covers some of this, as does the more recent ‘The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution’.

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