In a message dated 1/28/2003 9:36:06 AM Eastern Standard Time, [log in to unmask] writes:

The issue is not about determinism, either genetic or environmental or
both together; the issue is about what we can change whether or not our
world is deterministic. A fascinating perspective on the misguided issue
of genetic determinism is provided by Jared Diamond in his magnificent
book Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997). The question Diamond poses, and
largely answers, is why it is that "Western" people (Europeans or
Eurasians) have conquered, colonized, and otherwise dominated "Third
World" people instead of vice versa. Why didn't the human populations of
the Americas or Africa, for instance, create worldwide empires by
invading, killing, and enslaving Europeans? Is the answer ... genetic?
Is science showing us that the ultimate source of Western dominance is
in our genes? On first encountering this question, many people -- even
highly sophisticated scientists -- jump to the conclusion that Diamond,
by merely addressing this question, must be entertaining some awful
racist hypothesis about European genetic superiority. So rattled are
they by this suspicion that they have a hard time taking in the fact
(which he must labor mightily to drive home) that he is saying just
about the opposite: The secret explanation lies not in our genes, not in
human genes, but it does lie to a very large extent in genes -- the
genes of the plants and animals that were the wild ancestors of all the
domesticated species of human agriculture.

Nope, it can't be genetic. The chinese invented half the technology. So why didn't the breakthrough occur in China?

Check out the discussion of this at

John Landon
Website for
World History and the Eonic Effect