*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

The Relevance of Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse by Jared Diamond

This course looks at the 13,000-year history of humankind. The most interesting questions concern the distinctions between societies and why history unfolded differently for people on different continents. Jared Diamond views world history as “an onion, of which the modern world constitutes only the surface, and whose layers are to be peeled back in the search for historical understanding.” Looking at the evidence that Jared Diamond presents in his writings will enable us to evaluate his conclusion: “History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.” Understanding our human past may allow us to be more successful as we react to the challenges emerging now, for all of us, on this interconnected Earth.

Instructor Bio:

Dave Ridenour has taught physics at the community college level and is retired after 25 years as an AP and Honors physics teacher with Albemarle County Public Schools. During his career he was a Fulbright Exchange Teacher to Northern Ireland and an early Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He holds an MA in education from New York University and a BS in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.

Recommended Reading:

Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, 2006. Diamond, Jared. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, rev.ed., 2011. Diamond, Jared. The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, 2006.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B200 Dave Ridenour Nov 6, 13, 20, 27, Dec 4, 11 Tu 10:00-11:30 a.m. Meadows Presbyterian Church A

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