Venkatachalam’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel”
The book mentions some very important facts. It is true that the factual relationship is very hard to determine and as such is the strength of the book. There are countless amount of factors that played a role in the separation between cultures. Venkatachalam’s book review dully notes that biological and technological advances played one of the major roles. Also, it is true that the surrounding environment had its influence on the people.
It so happened that Europe had many plants and animals that people were able to domesticate and benefit from an easier food source. But something that is not mentioned in the important factor of the climate and the geographical location of the country. The way the extreme natural conditions influenced the people, played a great role. Places that were constantly hit with hurricanes, enormous waves, heavy rains, and earthquakes, were set back in time in their development.
There are numerous examples in history when a civilization has reached tremendous heights in society and technology but was then completely destroyed by some extreme and unforeseen force of Nature. Also, very little attention is paid to the spirituality and the belief system of people. The Native people are much closer to Nature in their understanding of the world. Their goals in life are much more “down to Earth” where it is not necessary for them to acquire different goods and services in order to enjoy life. Their philosophy of life is very different and that is why there are places in the world that are untouched by technological advancements, even today. These people consider themselves a part of Nature and not above it.