I acknowledge that it is much more difficult to understand human history than to understand problems in fields of science where history is unimportant and where fewer individual variables operate. Nevertheless, successful methodologies for analyzing historical problems have been worked out in several fields. As a result, the histories of dinosaurs, nebulas, and glaciers are generally acknowledged to belong to fields of science rather than to the humanities. I am thus optimistic that historical studies of human societies can be pursued as scientifically as studies of dinosaurs—and with profit to our own society today, by teaching us what shaped the modern world, and what might shape our future.
—Jared Diamond, final paragraph,
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies,