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Humans as Part of the Ecosystem.pdf

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ANTH 206
Peter Rudiak- Gould

Common Western Idea Humans are special They are not in balance with the environment Humans are just another species in an ecosystem Gaia hypothesis Break down the nature/culture division Does this mean human destruction of the environment is just "natural" and therefore ethically natural? Niches Environment in which specific species occupy Ritual and Ecology among the Tsembaga Maring Papua New Guinea 200 people Swidden agriculture Yams, taro, sweet potatoes, bananas, PIGS Colonization forbade war with neighbouring groups Basic concepts used by Rappaport Humans are part of the energy exchanges of the ecosystem Cognized models vs operational models Cognized = description of a people's knowledge of their environment and of their beliefs concerning it. May include supernatural Reference points = the desired values of the societal variable Operational = describe the ecological system in accordance with the assumptions and methods of objective science Goal range = the range of possible values of a societal variable that will allow the ecosystem to continue (e.g. population) Homeostasis The maintenance of stability over time If humans act in a particular way, both their society and the ecosystem will maintain homeostasis If th
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