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Lecture 2

ANT336 Week 2.docx

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Department
Anthropology
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ANT100Y1
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all

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ANT336- Week 2  Parsimony is sometimes known as Occam’s razor (the razor cuts the shit) has become a principle operating rule of science.  If something is not parsimonies that doesn’t mean it’s wrong  Primate behaviours: the common chimp and the bonobo handle conflict in very different ways  We assume parsimony because that is what common scientists do, however sometimes parsimony is not warranted  Paradigms date back to the book The structure of scientific revolutions  Scientists will go down a scientific path in part because it makes sense but in part because it is what they do it is a tradition of sort and eventually there becomes a paradigm shift when frameworks need to be changed as things no longer make sense with the previously followed paradigm  When a paradigm shift occurs it can sometimes be very traumatic for the scientists and the science of that time  Discussed by Gould and Lewontin: Proximate and Ultimate  Proximate causation ex. If someone says I am hungry, your brain is sending messages that you are hungry and you are mad you left the muffin in office, you sense being hungry because there is a lack of food in your stomach that is the proximate causation  Ultimate causation ex. is that if you didn’t have the proximate causation to say you are hungry you would starve  Inclusive fitness (also known as kin selection) = the realization decades after Darwin that fitness is not just personal fitness that also the survival of an allele to the next generation can come through the copies of that allele through generations  If you have a flock of birds subject to predations by hawks, if there is an allele in these birds which causes certain birds to draw the attention out of the nest by faking a broken wing to attract the hawk, you may think that is negative as the faker dies (even if the allele is negative on the person it is acting on it may still be chosen for if it helps generations who follow to survive) however the baby birds in the nest with the same alleles survive  Falsifiability is complementary to G&L ideas and theories  If it is scientific there has to be a falsifiably condition there has to be something that is unexplainable (a theory that explains everything actually explains nothing) not all paradigms explain everything  Science needs to be the opposite of faith, faith doesn’t need material proof (great leap of faith, leap into faith without having to have proof) science should never be that  Adaptationist program ignores the concept of falsifiability  It is useful to think in terms of explanation and exemplification, assume a trait of behaviour reps. an adaptation there are 2 ways progressive ad-hoc and imaginative reconstruction  Kinds of Stories, simple solution doesn’t work so there is trade-offs, c
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