"I've set myself the modest task of trying to explain the broad pattern
of human history, on all the continents, for the last 13,000 years. Why did
history take such different evolutionary courses for peoples of different
continents? This problem has fascinated me for a long time, but it's now ripe
for a new synthesis because of recent advances in many fields seemingly remote
from history, including molecular biology, plant and animal genetics and
biogeography, archaeology, and linguistics....." - Jared Diamond
Read the full text of Diamond's talk to The Edge Foundation - an interesting looking organization that 'seeks to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society'. Its membership includes Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins plus many other important looking people.