Jared Diamond (born 10 September 1937) is an American evolutionary biologist, physiologist, bio-geographer and nonfiction author. He is best known for the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997).
- Put another way, the chimpanzees' closest relative is not the gorilla but humans.
- The Third Chimpanzee (1991)
- All this is not to deny that Watt, Edison, the Wright brothers, Morse, and Whitney made big improvements and thereby increased or inaugurated commercial success. The form of the invention eventually adopted might have been somewhat different without the recognized inventor's contribution. But the question for our purpose is whether the broad pattern of world history would have been altered significantly if some genius inventor had not been born at a particular place and time. The answer is clear: there has never been such a person. All recognized famous inventors had capable predecessors and successors and made their improvements at a time when society was capable of using their product.
- Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, p. 245 (1997)
- History, as well as life itself, is complicated; neither life nor history is an enterprise for those who seek simplicity and consistency.
- p. 349
- People often ask, "What is the single most important environmental/population problem facing the world today?" A flip answer would be, "The single most important problem is our misguided focus on identifying the single most important problem!"
- p. 498
- Two types of choices seem to me to have been crucial in tipping their outcomes towards success or failure: long-term planning, and willingness to reconsider core values. On reflection, we can also recognize the crucial role of these same two choices for the outcomes of our individual lives.
- On the fates of past societies facing problems of sustainability, p. 522