Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Short Essay - Answer Key

Yuval Noah Harari
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1. When Europeans came to the Americas, what caused the deaths of millions of native people?

When Europeans from Spain and Great Britain came to North America, Cuba, Mexico, and later Hawaii, they brought illnesses such as smallpox, the flu, tuberculosis, and syphilis. The native peoples had no immunity to these diseases and millions died.

2. The author makes a reference to a [Anton] Chekhov's law. What is the law and what does it mean?

Harari refers to a quote by Anton Chekhov who said that "a gun appearing in the first act will inevitably be fired in the third" (17). The author called the quote Chekhov's Law which meant that if a gun, or weapon, was available someone would use it.

3. Why does Harari say that "Sugar is more dangerous than gunpowder" (15)?

Harari said that sugar is more dangerous than gunpowder because more people are overweight and dying from diabetes and heart disease than war or crime. He referred to the poor diets of many people who eat too much starch, salt, and sugar.

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