08/09/2010 6th Summer Assignment

Note from Your T.A.

I have received emails about the due dates for the Guns Germs and Steel homework. This is due the first day of school, August 17th. If you see another date, please look at the DATE of the post. This blog was a tool Mr. Falvo and I used last year, so I apologize for any confusion. If you have any questions.

A. Review for school next Tuesday

1.Review  the  concept of Plagiarism and what you can do to avoid it.
2.Movie on Early man.
a. This is also covered loosely in chapter1, of Guns, Germs and Steel. pgs 35 to 52
3.  The 5 core themes of AP World History
4.  Historical Periodizations Chart of AP World History
5. Work with Google Docs from Google.
a. This will be an invaluable tool for us this year.
6. Read and complete questions from Guns, Germs and Steel
I will re-post the questions at the bottom of the page
7. Two political cartoons complete with the NARA guide.

B. Guns, Germs and Steel

Jared Diamond in his book,  Guns. Germs and steel addresses Yali’s question, “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own?” Diamond actually addresses a bigger question in his book; What factors caused this gap between the development of one culture and another?

Finish the questions for Guns, germs and steel for the first day of class, August 17th.

Focus questions for journal:

01. What are the other commonly espoused answers to “Yali’s question,” and how does Jared Diamond
address and refute them?

02. Why does Diamond hypothesize that New Guineans might be, on the average, “smarter” than Westerners?

03. Why is it important to differentiate between proximate and ultimate causes?

04. Do you find some of Diamond’s methodologies more compelling than others? Which, and why?

05. What is the importance of the order of the chapters? Why, for example, is “Collision at Cajamarca”—which
describes events that occur thousands of years after those described in the subsequent chapters—placed
where it is?

06. How are Polynesian Islands “an experiment of history”? What conclusions does Diamond draw from their history?

07. How does Diamond challenge our assumptions about the transition from hunter‐gathering to farming?

08. How is farming an “auto‐catalytic” process? How does this account for the great disparities in
societies, as well as for the possibilities of parallel evolution?

09. Why did almonds prove domesticable while acorns were not? What significance does this have?

10. How does Diamond explain the fact that domesticable American apples and grapes were not domesticated until
the arrival of Europeans?

11. What were the advantages enjoyed by the Fertile Crescent that allowed it to be the earliest site of development for
most of the building blocks of civilization? How does Diamond explain the fact that it was nevertheless Europe and
not Southwest Asia that ended up spreading its culture to the rest of the world?

12. How does Diamond refute the argument that the failure to domesticate certain animals arose from cultural
differences? What does the modern failure to domesticate, for example, the eland suggest about the reasons why
some peoples independently developed domestic animals and others did not?

13. What is the importance of the “Anna Karenina principle”?

14. How does comparing mutations help one trace the spread of agriculture?

15. How does civilization lead to epidemics?

16. How does Diamond’s theory that invention is, in fact, the mother of necessity bear upon the traditional “heroic”
model of invention?

17. According to Diamond, how does religion evolve along with increasingly complex societies?

18. How is linguistic evidence used to draw conclusions about the spread of peoples in China, Southeast
Asia, the Pacific, and Africa?

19. What is the significance of the differing outcomes of Austronesian expansion in Indonesia and New Guinea?

20. How does Diamond explain China’s striking unity and Europe’s persistent disunity? What
consequences do these conditions have for world history?

21. How does Diamond refute the charge that Australia is proof that differences in the fates of human
societies are a matter of people and not environment? In what other areas of the world could
Diamond’s argument be used?

22. What aspects of Diamond’s evidence do lay readers have to take on faith? Which aspects are explained?

23. Diamond offers two tribes, the Chimbu and the Daribi, as examples of differing receptivities to
innovation. Do you think he would accept larger, continent‐wide differences in receptivity? Why or why
not? How problematic might cultural factors prove for Diamond’s arguments?

24. How, throughout the book, does Diamond address the issues he discusses in the last few pages of his
final chapter, when he proposes a science of human history?


About whapfalvo

Teach AP History teacher at William T. Dwyer High School...AP World History, AP US History, and AP European History.
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