CHAPTER 2: A Natural Experiment of History from Guns, Germs and Steelby Jared Diamond
1. Why does Diamond call the development of Polynesian societies a “natural experiment of history?”
2. Why did the Maori and the Moriori evolve differently?
3. How does the fact that the Maori defeated the Moriori support Diamond’s argument on the importance of environmental factors in history?
4. What are the six environmental factors that Diamond isolates in his discussion of Polynesian societies?
5. How did population density affect economies, social complexity, and political organization?
6. Which of the six factors do you consider most important? Explain your reasoning.
7. In your own words, explain Diamond’s argument (thesis) presented in this chapter of his book.
8. Evaluate Diamond’s arguments. Are they convincing or not? Explain where you agree or disagree with Diamond’s views.