Guns, Germs, And Steel - Section 2


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This is a powerpoint presentation to go along with the book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. It covers the origins of economic stratification by discussing plant and animal domestication, climate, and geographic advantages.

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Guns, Germs, And Steel - Section 2

  1. 1. Social Stratification Guns, Germs, and Steel: Part 2
  2. 2. What is a Typology?
  3. 3. Axes Note: Why this map? Eurasia Africa The Americas
  4. 4. Development Diagram Ultimate Factors Proximate Factors East/West Axis Ease of species spreading Many suitable wild species Many domesticated plant and animal species Food surpluses, food storage Large, dense, sedentary, stratified societies technology Epidemic disease Political organization, writing Ocean-going ships Guns, steel swords horses
  5. 5. What’s our typology? <ul><li>What are the possible trajectories? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we create a typology out of those trajectories? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples? </li></ul><ul><li>Countries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Farmer Power <ul><li>Hunting-gathering as an economic system is nearly extinct and probably will be in the next few decades </li></ul><ul><li>We are all switching to advanced agriculture… </li></ul><ul><li>What is the benefit of agriculture? Why switch from hunting/gathering to agriculture? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transforms the percentage of edible biomass from 0.1% per acre to up to 90% per acre </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agriculture can feed 10 to 100 times more people than hunting/gathering </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What about herding and domestication of animals? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meat, milk, fertilizer, and plows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Warmth? Companionship? Clothing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>War? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is vegetarianism ideal? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Farmer Power <ul><li>What does the “sedentary” lifestyle of agriculturists have to do with child production? Does it increase or decrease reproduction? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hunter/gatherers have to take the kids with them (2 vs. 4 year intervals) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What about food surplus? How does staying in one place facilitate this? Why is this a “good” thing? </li></ul><ul><li>What else does food surplus do for development? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specialization (Is this important?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(and, ultimately, inequality) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Farmer Power <ul><li>Why did agriculture develop where it did? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did agriculture develop when it did? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Centers of origin of food production Why did food production not evolve in large, geographically suitable areas of the globe? West Africa? Ethiopia? Sahel? Fertile Crescent China New Guinea? Eastern U.S. Mesoamerica Andes Amazonia?
  10. 10. Species Domesticated Area Plants Animals Date Southwest Asia Wheat, pea, olive Sheep, goat 8,500 BCE China Rice, millet Pig, silkworm By 7,500 BCE Mesoamerica Corn, beans, squash Turkey By 3,500 BCE Andes and Amazonia Potato, manioc Llama, guinea, pig By 3,500 BCE Eastern U.S. Sunflower, goosefoot None 2,500 BCE ? Sahel Sorghum, African rice Guinea fowl By 5,000 BCE ? Tropical West Africa African yams, oil palm None By 3,000 BCE ? Ethiopia Coffee, teff None ? ? New Guinea Sugar cane, banana None By 7,000 BCE
  11. 11. To Farm or Not to Farm <ul><li>How did food production come about? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can’t really make a choice between farming and hunting/gathering if you only know hunting/gathering, right? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Isn’t a hard and fast distinction – many hunter/gatherers intensively manage the land they roam (burning, clearing, etc.) </li></ul>
  12. 12. To Farm or Not to Farm <ul><li>“ Most peasant farmers and herders… aren’t necessarily better off than hunter-gatherers. Time budget studies show that they may spend more rather than fewer hours per day at work than hunter-gatherers do.” (p. 105) </li></ul><ul><li>So, why switch? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ All other things being equal, people seek to maximize their return of calories, protein, or other specific food categories by foraging in a way that yields the most return with the greatest certainty in the least time for the least effort.” (p. 108; anyone recognize the sociological/economic theory here?) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. To Farm or Not to Farm <ul><li>Hunting/gathering and food production are alternative strategies: What were the factors that tipped the competitive advantage away from the former and toward the latter? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decline in the availability of wild foods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased availability of domesticable wild plants made plant domestication more rewarding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cumulative development of technologies on which food production would become dependent – collection, processing, storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two-way link between the rise in human population density and the rise in food production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Chicken and egg dilemma – What’s the answer? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>This also explains the dates – started around 8,500 BCE because of these four. </li></ul>
  14. 14. How to Make an Almond <ul><li>Plant domestication is growing a plant and thereby consciously or unconsciously causing it to change genetically from its wild ancestor in ways making it more useful to human consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>How did certain wild plants get turned into crops? </li></ul><ul><li>One logical explanation – humans (or other animals) eat the plant, defecate the seed, and it germinates in our feces; we also gather and spit, etc. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But how does this change the genetics of the plant? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ It may come as a surprise to learn that plant seeds can resist digestion by your gut and nonetheless germinate out of your feces. But any adventurous readers who are not too squeamish can make the test and prove it for themselves.” (p. 116) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5 bonus points if you do this successfully and document it with photos </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. How to Make an Almond <ul><li>Other inadvertent ways we change crops: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mechanism for dispersal of seeds (popping pea pods) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changed hard coat so all the seeds germinate immediately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changed form of reproduction (seedless fruits – e.g., bananas) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why are some plants easier to domesticate than others? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First domesticates: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wild versions are already edible and have high yields </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>More easily grown </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grow quickly and can be harvested easily </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easily stored </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Self-pollinating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Very little genetic change to become domesticated </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next wave: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Take longer to produce (e.g., fruit trees), but that is okay with sedentary farmers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Last wave: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Required new technologies (e.g., grafting) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Major Crop Domesticates All of these were domesticated basically by the time of the Roman empire. Area Cereals, other grasses Pulses Fiber Roots, tubers Melons Fertile Crescent Emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, barley Pea, lentil, chickpea Flax - Muskmelon China Foxtail millet, broomcorn millet Soybean, adzuki bean, mung bean Hemp - [muskmelon] Mesoamerica Corn Common bean, tepary bean, scarlet Cotton, yucca, agave Jicama Squashes Andes, Amazonia Quinoa, [corn] Lima bean, common bean, peanut Cotton Manioc, sweet potato, potato, oca Squashes West Africa and Sahel Sorghum, pearl millet, African rice Cowpea, groundnut Cotton African yams Watermelon, bottle gourd India [wheat, barley, rice, sorghum, millets] Hyacinth bean, black gram, green gram Cotton - Cucumber Ethiopia Teff, finger millet [pea, lentil] [flax] - - Eastern U.S. Maygrass, little barley, knotweed, goosefoot - - Jerusalem artichoke Squash New Guinea Sugar cane - - Yams, taro -
  17. 17. Apples or Indians <ul><li>Why did agriculture never arise independently in some fertile and highly suitable areas, such as California, Europe, temperate Australia, and subequatorial Africa? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did it arise in some areas earlier than others? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is this a people problem or a plant problem? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Over 200,000 species of flowering plants </li></ul><ul><li>But a dozen account for over 80% of the modern production: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wheat, corn, rice, barley, sorghum, soybean, potato, manioc, sweet potato, sugarcane, sugar beet, banana. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you eat today? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have we really not domesticated any new plants in recent times? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’ve modified the ones we have, but we haven’t domesticated any new ones. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Apples or Indians <ul><li>Is the flora and environment really that different between the areas where crops developed and where they did not? </li></ul><ul><li>What advantages did the Fertile Crescent have? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate: Mediterranean – mild, wet winters, long, hot, dry summers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid plant growth when the rain returns; very little woody body and large seeds (that we can eat) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of candidates for domestication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Little modification required… </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Teosinte vs. Corn (Americas) From this To this.
  20. 20. Spelt vs. Common Wheat From this To this.
  21. 21. Mediterranean Climates South Africa Fertile Crescent Southwest Australia California Chile
  22. 22. Five Advantages of Fertile Crescent <ul><li>Largest zone of Mediterranean climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Means greater diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Greatest climatic variation from season to season </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Favors evolution (why?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Wide range of altitudes and topographies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Greater biological diversity of mammals as well </li></ul><ul><li>Not much competition from hunter-gatherer lifestyle </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not many coastal areas </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Limitations of New Guinea <ul><li>Not much biodiversity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No cereal crops – no large-seeded wild grasses are native </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No domesticable large mammals </li></ul><ul><li>Low protein foods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pot-bellies of high-bulk, protein-deficient diets (cannibalism) </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Apples or Indians <ul><li>Do you know the local plants? Do you know which are edible and which are not? </li></ul><ul><li>Do hunter-gatherers know local plants? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Our ancestors consistently picked those best suited for our consumption </li></ul></ul><ul><li>So, why did some regions not domesticate plants (or did so really late) and others did? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Domesticable Mammals <ul><li>Candidates for domestication: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Terrestrial herbivore weighing on the average over 100 pounds </li></ul></ul>Eurasia Sub-Saharan Africa The Americas Australia Candidates 72 51 24 1 Domesticated 13 0 1 0
  26. 26. 14 Domestic Mammals Animal Wild ancestor Date (BCE) location Sheep Asiatic mouflon sheep 8000 West and Central Asia Goat Bezoar goat 8000 West Asia Cow Aurochs 6000 Eurasia and North Africa Pig Wild boar 8000 Eurasia and North Africa Horse Wild horses 4000 Southern Russia (minor 9) Arabian camel (1-hump) Wild camel 2500 Arabia Bactrian camel (2-hump) Wild camel 2500 Central Asia Llama and Alpaca Guanaco 3500 Andes Donkey African wild ass 4000 North Africa Reindeer Wild reindeer Northern Eurasia Water buffalo Wild water buffalo 4000 Southeast Asia Yak Wild yak Himalayas and Tibet Bali cattle Banteng Southeast Asia Mithan Gaur India and Burma Eurasian?
  27. 27. The Anna Karenina Principle <ul><li>“ Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” (p. 157) </li></ul><ul><li>Success actually requires avoiding many separate possible causes of failure; 6 areas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diet - 10% conversion ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(10,000 lbs of corn to grow a 1,000 pound cow) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which animals are ruled out? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What does this say about vegetarianism? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growth rate – the faster they growth, the better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which animals are ruled out? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems of captive breeding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which animals are rules out? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. The Anna Karenina Principle <ul><li>6 areas continued: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nasty disposition – if they can kill a human and do… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which animals are ruled out? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tendency to panic – problem in pens and around humans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which animals are ruled out? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Structure – 3 characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Live in herds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Well-developed dominance hierarchy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overlapping home ranges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Which animals are ruled out? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Axes Eurasia Africa The Americas
  30. 30. Spacious Skies and Tilted Axes <ul><li>Why did food production spread more rapidly in Eurasia than in Africa or The Americas? </li></ul><ul><li>Same latitude share: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Day length </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seasonal variation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar diseases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regimes of temperature and rainfall </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Habitats or biomes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most Eurasian crops came from a single forerunner – they spread rapidly (p. 188) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Questions <ul><li>If you were a hunter-gatherer what would your reasons be of not becoming a farmer? </li></ul><ul><li>Which groups do you think had the most chance of surviving: the hunter-gathers, the farmers, or the group of people that combined the hunter/gatherer’s life style with certain components of the farmer’s lifestyle and why? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you think there is a way to eventually solve the “chicken-and-egg” problem: Did rising population cause food production, or did food production cause population to increase? </li></ul><ul><li>Why did Australia have no domesticated species? Because of it’s isolation, geography, or both? </li></ul>
  32. 32. Questions <ul><li>I find it weird that people believe the large animals, “picked the 23rd to expire in concert, in the presence of all those supposedly harmless humans.” Clearly they had something to do with the disappearance of these animals. What might the world have been like had they not been killed? </li></ul><ul><li>What were the most important advantages of the Fertile Crescent? </li></ul><ul><li>On page 88 it was said that &quot;most biomass on land is in the form of wood and leaves&quot; but if there was more biomass available for humans would it change human societies that much? </li></ul><ul><li>Gasp... what if there were no horses?? (did we answer this last week?) </li></ul><ul><li>What were those pictures of/about or their significance (other than the captions listed under them)? </li></ul>
  33. 33. Questions <ul><li>Did the hunter-gatherers in 11,000 BCE have a lot of children? Is there any way for us to know what the average fertility rate was? </li></ul><ul><li>Have there been experiments done with the New Guineans in America? For example, have they been shown pictures of cities or have they seen movies? Do they have the desire to use our weapons and tools or do they not know that it is an option? </li></ul><ul><li>Why can reindeer be domesticated while all other deer cannot? </li></ul><ul><li>Would other areas such as Africa or the Americas become dominant if Eurasia hadn't become so first? </li></ul><ul><li>What were some of the early farming practices that allowed agriculture to develop? Also, what were the key inventions and advancements that contributed to farming? </li></ul>
  34. 34. Questions <ul><li>Diamond (pp. 111-112) identifies the emergence from the Ice Age nearly 13,000 years ago as a factor increasing human population densities, a factor that operated both independently of and as a causal factor for the rise of food production. If this is true, did the geographical effects of the end of the Ice Age provide the same impetus for population growth all over the world, or was Mesopotamia favored once more by geography in this case? </li></ul><ul><li>Diamond (pp. 105-107) explains some nuances regarding the differences between food production and hunting/gathering. Neither a sedentary society nor “active managers of land” seems to correspond absolutely with a “food producing” society. What, then, is the key difference between hunting/gathering and food production? Does it have to do with genetic modification of crops/animals versus simply collecting them? </li></ul>