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Guns, Germs, And Steel, Diamond Chronicles History

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Human cultures and societies have developed at various rates and achieved different levels of progress over thousands of years, resulting in some societies being labeled as more advanced than others. More advanced societies experienced complex technologies, evident in their tools and innovations, and more refined cultural structures such as social class and government systems. Other societies experienced slower rates of development as they maintained rudimentary lifestyles with simple technologies and social structures. Examining and comparing the varying levels of progress and development achieved by different human societies across the world raises the question of how certain societies developed at a higher rate than others. Jared Diamond, an evolutionary biologist, and William McNeill, a historian, seek to explain this variation in development with each offering different perspectives. In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond chronicles the history of human development through a biogeographical lens and proposes that environmental and biological factors are the main influences on the development of human societies. Diamond’s ideas, however, do not go unchallenged as McNeill presents in his article “History Upside Down”, that anthropological factors pertaining to human cognition are also crucial in explaining how human societies have developed. Although both authors examine human societal development through different lenses, Diamond’s ideas on geographic location and
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