Although formerly popular, this type of explanation, too, fails to survive scrutiny. As we shall see, the peoples of northern Europe contributed nothing of fundamental importance to Eurasian civilization until the last thousand years; they simply had the good luck to live at a geographic location where they were likely to receive advances (such as agriculture, wheels, writing, and metallurgy) developed in warmer parts of Eurasia.
“History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.”