Comment of the Day: Guns, Germs, and Steel Edition

Today, we checked out the 15 (and counting!) superheroes and villains who have dispatched Batman with ease, collectively hushed the people chatting over the sound of our movie, and entered into a debate about a book.

In response to this post, looking at charges of racism against Jared Diamond's newest book, The World Until Yesterday, and what it meant for his previous book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Ramez Naam came in to share this analysis:

I'm not a huge fan of Jared Diamond. I think Guns, Germs, and Steel, while strong in a number of ways, got a lot wrong and ignored some big problems with his thesis. And I thought Collapse was far more eco-pessimistic than is supported by the data. I have no interest in reading The World Until Yesterday or in primitive culture worship.

But... I think calling him a racist is a stretch. Guns, Germs, and Steel (which I have issues with it) was really a very long attempt at dispelling a racist meme - at showing that it was the chance of the environment people found themselves in - and not their own race or genetics - that played the major role in how well their societies flourished. That is really pretty anti-racist in my book.

Did you read the book (or do you plan to)? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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