Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Third Chimpanzee

Jared Diamond wrote some fascinating books such as Guns, Germs and Steel. Third Chimpanzee, alas, was written earlier in his career and is not quite up to the quality of later books.

He states his purpose is to help prevent man from causing his own extinction. However, he goes about it by trying to convince us that man is the "third chimpanzee". Alas, there is not a whole lot the two have in common. Sure, humans may share a lot in common with apes, but does this make them more or less likely to destroy their planet? The start of the book rambles on and on about primate reproductive behaviors. Then it spends time on other societal behaviors. There are some interesting parts, but they are carried out much better in Diamond's later book. This one feels like the "rough draft" where all the ideas were thrown down on paper. The later books have a more coherent thesis that goes to the point. Read Collapse Skip Third Chimpanzee.

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