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Jared Diamond Quotes

An American evolutionary biologist, physiologist, biogeographer and nonfiction author. He is best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel.
(1937 - )

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African cavalry mounted on rhinos or hippos would have made mincemeat of European cavalry mounted on horses. But it couldn't happen.

AIDS and malaria and TB are national security issues. A worldwide program to get a start on dealing with these issues would cost about $25 billion... It's, what, a few months in Iraq.

All human societies go through fads in which they temporarily either adopt practices of little use or else abandon practices of considerable use.

All of Africa's mammalian domesticates - cattle, sheep, goats, horses, even dogs - entered sub-Saharan Africa from the north, from Eurasia or North Africa.

Although native Africans domesticated some plants in the Sahel and in Ethiopia and in tropical West Africa, they acquired valuable domestic animals only later, from the north.

As a biologist practicing laboratory experimental science, I'm aware that some scientists may be inclined to dismiss these historical interpretations as unprovable speculation, because they're not founded on replicated laboratory experiments.

Australia is the most isolated continent.

Biology is the science. Evolution is the concept that makes biology unique.

Differences between the Old and New Worlds in domesticated plants,especially in large-seeded cereals, are qualitatively similar to the differences in domesticated mammals, though the difference is not so extreme.

Domestic animals revolutionized land transport. They also revolutionized agriculture, by letting one farmer plough and manure much more land than the farmer could till or manure by the farmer's own efforts.

Domesticated plants and animals yield far more calories per acre than do wild habitats, in which most species are inedible to humans.

Eurasia ended up with the most domesticated animal species in part because it's the world's largest land mass and offered the most wild species to begin with.

Even to this day, no native Australian animal species and only one plant species - the macadamia nut - have proved suitable for domestication. There still are no domestic kangaroos.

Federal elections happen every two years in this country. Presidential elections every four years. And four years just isn't long enough to dismantle all the environmental laws we've got in this country.

History, as well as life itself, is complicated; neither life nor history is an enterprise for those who seek simplicity and consistency.

How is it that Pizarro and Cortes reached the New World at all, before Aztec and Inca conquistadors could reach Europe? That outcome depended partly on technology in the form of oceangoing ships. Europeans had such ships, while the Aztecs and Incas did not.

Human societies vary in lots of independent factors affecting their openness to innovation.

Humans have been evolving for millions of years longer in Africa than in Europe, and even anatomically modern Homo sapiens may have reached Europe from Africa only within the last 50,000 years. If time were a critical factor in the development of human societies, Africa should have enjoyed an enormous head start and advantage over Europe.

I decided that now is the time to start doing the things that really interest me and I find important. It was in the 10 years of the MacArthur grant that I began working on my first book... and I began putting more work into environmental history.

I personally am not conscious of my accent.

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