Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Subject: RE: Guns, Germs, and Steel. What are your criticisms?
There was a thread on one aspect of this, a few months back: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?board=1&id=4297252&thread=4297035
In brief, the OP said that Diamond never addresses differences in average intelligence as a potential contributor to differences in cultural attainment, and actually makes a misleading, erroneous statement about two different cultures' intelligences' being equal.
Based on linguistic data, he made statements about the peopling of the Pacific that now appear (based on DNA data) to be incorrect. Nothing bad there, he was just using the best data available at the time.
Those are examples of the two general categories into which criticisms of GG&S fall. The book covers a lot of territory and "paints with a broad brush" (to quote one critic), and it's perfectly reasonable that there would be some innocent *factual* errors, like the thing about peopling the Pacific.
People's harsher criticisms tend to be for what they see as *willful* errors or "ignorings" on Diamond's part. I'd suggest entering "guns germs and steel criticism" in Google, for many many links.
BTW, let's not discount entirely the envy that some of Diamond's academic critics must feel, when they see the book's success!
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