In his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond comes up with a multitude of convincing explanations as to why some human populations ended up creating civilizations and others did not.
Among critical factors he identifies:
-Availability of large domesticable animals for riding, carrying, ploughing.
-Availability of promising wild cereals.
-New crops shareable from East-West (same seasons) as opposed to the considerable seasonal obstacles of sharing from North-South.
Diamond has some fascinating insights but from page 1 his mission is to argue that all human populations are fundamentally the same. Despite doing much to create good discussion, he’s more interested in upholding his personal ideology rather than searching for a whole truth that may not fit his desired specifications.
This seems to come in part from the erroneous but entrenched assumption that major change in human populations takes tens of thousands of years.
This notion is nonsense of course. The nature of the human race shifts every single generation. As societies change the rates of success of different survival strategies must change with it.
I’ve seen that Human Biodiversity adherents tend to deride Diamond for his simplistic views on human genetic differences.
However, I see no need for this.
Diamond for the most part seems to have everything pretty much right but screws it up with his wishful thinking.
The horse and wheat make huge differences in making one society more complex than another.
But we can just as easily note that a more complex society selects for people who think more abstractly and on a larger scale.
If we want to reconcile Diamond with HBDsphere, why not just formulate it like this:
Wheat, the horse, or an East-West continent resulted in more complex societies. In more complex societies, higher reasoning ability increased the odds of reproducing. Today, we predictably see some major differences in reasoning ability between historically isolated populations. Overall, higher reasoning ability tends to correspond with societies that have had more complex systems of organization, for longer.