Guns, Germs and Steel Part 1 of 18


Episode One : Out of Eden (Part 1 of 6)

Jared Diamond’s journey of discovery began on the island of Papua New Guinea. There, in 1974, a local named Yali asked Diamond a deceptively simple question:

«Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo, but we black people had little cargo of our own?»

Diamond realized that Yali’s question penetrated the heart of a great mystery of human history — the roots of global inequality.

Why were Europeans the ones with all the cargo? Why had they taken over so much of the world, instead of the native people of New Guinea? How did Europeans end up with what Diamond terms the agents of conquest: guns, germs and steel? It was these agents of conquest that allowed 168 Spanish conquistadors to defeat an Imperial Inca army of 80,000 in 1532, and set a pattern of European conquest which would continue right up to the present day.

Diamond knew that the answer had little to do with ingenuity or individual skill. From his own experience in the jungles of New Guinea, he had observed that native hunter-gatherers were just as intelligent as people of European descent — and far more resourceful. Their lives were tough, and it seemed a terrible paradox of history that these extraordinary people should be the conquered, and not the conquerors.

To examine the reasons for European success, Jared realized he had to peel back the layers of history and begin his search at a time of equality — a time when all the peoples of the world lived in exactly the same way.

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  1. KJ is A Llama

    Qoute of the day:
    Why you white men have so much cargo, and we new Guinean have so little

  2. Christopher Miller

    Does anyone know the name of the song that plays when it is showing the British fighting the Africans with the maxim machine gun?

  3. immortal alpha bear king

    he's a professor at ucla. big fucking surprise (sarcastically).

  4. Robert

    Why you white men have so much cargo? ???????

  5. smiley face

    I wish I watched this instead of reading Jared Diamond's BORING book for my AP World history summer assignment. 🙁

  6. MacKenzie Prestage

    I would like to see you go through the ghetto you fucking idiot

  7. DM C

    I really liked his book. It was a nice primer on a couple fundamental questions of human existence. However, the more I think about all the points he lays out, it does seem he did them with a preset. You can see that every point was made to refute any claim of genetic superiority, instead of just laying out facts and letting the reader figure it out themselves.

    It's fine, it's his story, he can tell it any way he wants. It's just not the whole story he promised.

  8. Dirk Gonthier

    What Jared Diamond doesn't answer, is why the Europeans were the ones who explored the world. The European cultures began to develop far later as the Japanese, the Chinese or the Islam as a consequence of the fall of the Roman Imperium and the dark ages that followed. Europe was effectively the 3rd world (after the Islam and the Far-East) when it began to explore the world. So, why didn't China, Japan or the Islamic cultures explore the world sooner than the Europeans? Because, all these cultures are Eurasian cultures and they had just the same benefits as the European cultures? However, they didn't explore the world…

  9. Spencer Wells

    "Why you white man have so much cargo, and we new guineans have so little" -Yali, my best friend

  10. Anfisa

    5:05 for some cargo

  11. Marc23zx

    King James Bible
    Eclesiastés 9 :11
    I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

  12. Guys I had it rough, my father gave me a small loan of a million dollars

    Will anyone else be tested on this documentary? I have to watch this for a geography class.

  13. Fetchdafish

    Does Mr. Diamond not think he could be taught the skills needed to survive in New Guinea? Does he find it surprising that people who have spent their whole lives in the jungle know how to survive in that environment.

    Why can't race and intelligence be part of the equation? White men could learn to live like PNG natives if they wanted or had to. The natives could probably be taught how to survive in the cold wilderness of the northern hemisphere. But the civilizations are so different, why is it heretical or ridiculous to think the PEOPLE are different? Not superior or inferior, just different in meaningful ways.

  14. Top Lobster

    this documentary is fairly inaccurate, first of all, the incas didn't think the spaniards were gods.

    the problem is that he bases his whole hypothesis around an attempt to combat racism. a noble cause in itself, but not a good foundation for science.

    i must say i agree with the historians that think this is an oversimplified answer. although surely geography and food sources must have been quite essential, this theory doesn't explain how japanese could so efficiently invade china, it doesn't explain how the mongols could take over large parts of the world, why the incas wasn't as technologically advanced as the spaniards. basically, it doesn't explain the vast variations of societies we see around the globe. and a lot is cultural.

    a population's aggression seems to be fairly important to their spread, as well other cultural aspects. the chewong of malaysia could have become the main population, but their unusual lack of aggression simply didn't give them a reason to do anything but live their lives. i think an aggressive drive to spread over a large area contributes to discovery, as you need new ways to get food, transport, work forces, and it also adds the benefit of letting people see a vast variety of cultures and geographical locations. all of this adds to curiosity, and wealth, which means certain groups of people just sit around thinking, allowing them to take up math and research.

    this is of course by no means the whole explanation, but it's simply other factors that as of yet seems to be completely glossed over. the truth is way too complex to attribute to one single reason.

  15. Jon Readman

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAATT??! theres a Documentary and I had to read the book! nah just kidding but this is good to know its out there. Books worth reading, too!

  16. Colin Kaminski
  17. Colin Kaminski
  18. Jack Howard

    +Johny Diala You're as good (or bad) as any white person and this documentary proves it.

  19. Gliese 380

    It's good to be (Western) European.

    EDIT: added (Western)

  20. Perry Kitten

    I usually hate documentaries, but this is just, wow!
    It's really an attention grabber.

  21. Karlinna Önnudóttir

    Was that guy wearing a kelloggs box on his head? hahahaha.

  22. Karlinna Önnudóttir

    Proud to be European! 😀

  23. Chris Niles

    things that get me about this is the music and attitude when he gets to africa.he is a self hating person and in no way can think in an unbiased opinion.he starts this show that i do like alot with the fact he hates the europeans.