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ANT100Y1 - lecture 1.doc

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Shawn Lehman

ANT100Y1 Biological Anthropology 23/09/2010 22:09:00 ← What is evolutionary anthropology? • Application of modern evolutionary theory to studies of the morphology, ecology, and behavior of human and non-human primates ← 5 research disciplines in evolutionary anthropology • primatology o scientific study of non-human primates o primate anatomy, field studies of wild animals, primate psychology, etc. o primatologists seek to conserve primates in vanishing tropical ecosystems • paleoanthropology o multidisciplinary study of:  biological evolution of humans and non-human primates  advent of and changes in human cultural activities  evolutionary history of behavior in human and non- human primates • human variation o spatial and temporal variations in human features o for example, geographic and climatic variations in body size, skin color, and eye color • Medical Anthropology o How social, environmental, and biological factors influence health and illness of individuals at the community, regional, national, and global levels • Forensic Anthropology o Focuses only on skeletal remains of humans o Forensic anthropologists seek to determine the age, sex, stature, ancestry, and any trauma or disease of the deceased ← Major Questions about Humans and our Biology • How does evolution work and how does it apply to us? • What are biological characteristics of our species? • What is physical record our evolution (paleoanthropology)? ← How do Evolutionary anthropologists conduct their research? • Sate the problem • Gather information • Form a hypothesis • Test the hypothesis • Record and analyze data • State the conclusion • Repeat the work ← Work of Early Naturalists that led to Development of Evolutionary Theory ← ← Carolus Linnaeus (Karl von Linne, 1707 – 1778) st • 1 comprehensive classification system for living things • considered a “botanist” • each living thing named separate species • on basis of physical resemblances, species grouped into broader categories called genera (singular: genus) • was NOT an evolutionist o believed in divine creation (god) o placed humans into a group w/ primates  towards the end, started questioning his own beliefs  was bible enough? ← Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707 – 1788) • Earth’s history >6000 years (ca. 75,000 years). Major issue with contemporary religious authorities! o Essentially argued against the church • Founded biogeography: despite similar environments, different regions have distinct plants and animals ← Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744 – 1829) • Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics. “vital forces” within creatures help them adapt to environment • Acquired traits: developed through use or disuse, passed on to future generations • Among first to formulate method for origination of new species through use or disuse of certain characters of organism ← Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) • Naturalist on H.M.S. Beagle, scientific expedition to Pacific coast to South America (almost didn’t get job because Captain didn’t like shape of his nose!) o Dad didn’t really want him to go either o 5 year journey around the world o spent most of his time off the ship! o • Observed incredible variety of living and especially fossilized creatures • Conclusion: NO fixity of species and notion on short, catastrophic geological history for earth must be incorrect ← ← binomial nomenclature • first letter genus is capitalized, like so: Homo • species designations always lower case • off-set text: underline if hand-writing or italicize when typing ← ← Variation Important in Evolution • Physical variety in any population of organisms • If variety provides advantage to certain individuals, then they may produce more offspring • These offspring inherit beneficial variation, so they produce more offspring; variation norm of population • Population may change, perhaps completely new and different species ← How does Adaptive Change Occur? • Key came from Essay on the Principle of Populations (1799) by
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