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Meetings of the Mind: Lectures

Published May 3, 2004

Geographical effects on societies

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond will deliver a lecture titled "Guns, Germs and Steel: The Rise and Role of Religious Elites in the Evolution of Human Culture," on Wednesday, May 5, at 4 p.m. in 105 Dartmouth Hall.

Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond

Diamond will expound on the thesis he presented in his book, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, that all human beings essentially share the same capabilities but have developed different cultural and economic systems because of geographical factors.  The focus of his talk will be on religion as a consequence and cause of human social development.

"His theory has been provocative," said Becky Townsend, Assistant to Michael Gazzaniga in the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. "People have expressed interest in hearing Dr. Diamond speak." 

Gazzaniga is Dean of the Faculty, and this is the Spring-term lecture in the Dean of the Faculty Lecture Series.  It is also sponsored by the Department of Religion as part of its James and David Orr Memorial Lectures on Culture and Religion.

Diamond is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, and the National Medal of Science. He is working on a new book, "Ecocide."

By MATT LEWIS '05

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Last Updated: 12/17/08