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Lecture 3

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Sherry Fukuzawa

Human Diversity May 14, 2013 History of the study of Human Variation Linneaus 1758  Classificatory/ binomial nomenclature  Separated humans into 5 categories o Americanus o Auropaeus o Asiaticus o Afer o Monstrosus Count de Buffon “Varieties of the human species” (1749)  Descriptive  Rejected classifications o Did not adhere to different types/categories – more progressive  Emphasized unity of species o Tried to suggest that there were more similarities than differences in populations  Behavioural and cultural biases Problems in classifying humans  Humans are both the investigators and subjects  Inequalities and injustices  Polytypic species o There are differences between different populations (incorporating cultural bias) Eugenics  Goal was for the betterment of the human species by the selective breeding for favourable traits  Selective breeding  If you see favourable traits in some cultures – then you inbreed within that culture in order to have a utopian population o Dark side is that you stop breeding some cultures that you find unfavourable – and thus becomes a genocide Human Diversity May 14, 2013 Important figures in Eugenics Francis Galton  1869 “hereditary genius”  Prominence is inborn o Statistics o Used biology to reinforce social prejudices  Used Mendelian genetic principles as proof Charles Davenport  1911 “heredity in relation to eugenics”  Established eugenics in US scientific program How was Eugenics to be Carried Out?  Restriction of immigration in the US in the 1920’s  Restriction of the propagation of undesirable heritable traits  Encouragement of breeding between individuals with desirable genetic traits  Eugenics took hold in National Socialist Germany Ernest Hooton  Broke from eugenics movement o Even before world war 2 when everyone else wanted to break away  Polymorphism o A species with alternative forms (alleles) particular genes Distinction between racial and racist studies  Racial o Examinations of biological differences among human groups  Racist o Biological differences among human groups to reinforce social divisions Human Diversity May 14, 2013 Carleton Coon  “the origins of races” 1963  Divided modern humans in 5 subspecies o Caucasian, mongoloid etc.  Suggested that they existed since middle Pleistocene – homoerectus  Criticisms: o Inferring race from fossils o Using cultural criteria to rank races  Caucasians were the first to evolve – and the most evolved so they were the most successful and the best to breed.  Brings in cultural bias o Inferring different times for becoming human Human Polymorphisms  Traits that differ in expression between populations & individuals 1. Genetic Pathologies  Tay Sachs disease – genetic disease Eastern European Jewish populations  10 times more common than any other population in the world  Cystic Fibrosis 2. Human biochemical polymorphisms  Blood cell antigens (ABO)  Cellular recognition processes (HLA)  Miscellaneous variant forms of enzymes  Mitochondrial DNA  RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphisms) 3. Genetics of the individual  Human genome project  Human genome diversity project Human Diversity May 14, 2013 Basic Environmental Variables 1. Thermal Environment  Sweating  Vasodilation vs. vasoconstriction  Body proportions  Larger surface area dissipates the most heat  Larger body mass retains heat  Bergmann’s rule (cold)  Individuals increase their body mass and volume  Allen’s Rule (hot climate)  Increase in surface area (longer appendages) 2. Oxygen  High altitude – reduced barometric pressure  Hypoxia  Not enough oxygen per breath  Transport & utilize O2 more efficiently  Increas
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