As you watch Episode 1 of the National Geographic series Guns, Germs and Steel, answer the following questions.
1. According to Jared Diamond, what are the three major elements that separate the world’s “haves” from the “have nots”?
2. Jared Diamond refers to the people of New Guinea as “among the world’s most culturally diverse and adaptable people in the world”, yet they have much less than modern Americans. Diamond has developed a theory about what has caused these huge discrepancies among different countries, and he says it boils down to geographic luck. Give several examples from
the film to support Diamond’s theory.
3. For thousands of years, people have been cultivating crops. Describe the process used to domesticate crops and create plants that yielded bigger, tastier harvests.
4. According to Diamond, livestock also plays a significant role in a civilization’s ability to become rich and powerful. How did the domestication of animals help people? Give several examples.
5. List the animals that can be domesticated and where they can be found.
6. Looking at the list of animals and locations from question 5, discuss how Diamond’s theory about geographic luck applies here.
7. How did the movement of the early civilizations of the Fertile Crescent (Middle East) further support Diamond’s idea that geography played a key role in the success of a civilization?
8. Do you agree with Jared Diamond when he says of a civilizations ability to gain power, wealth, and strength, “…what’s far more important is the hand that people have been dealt, the raw materials they’ve had at their disposal.” Why or why not?
Due: 9B- Monday, September 3rd
9D- Tuesday, September 4th