ANTHROPOLOGY 9/2/2013 6:03:00 PM
Anthropology is the study of human-kind and changes over time.
Types of Anthropology:
Like sociology; looks at people (marriage, family,
Understanding traditional ways of life so we can
“Grammar of proper experience”
ex. Shaking hands
Looks at languages
Records and compares languages to one another to
determine similarities and differences
Looks at humans as both biological and cultural beings
How heritage is influenced by our environment
Study of “human evolution”
Disease and its spreading
Only field with military occupation position
Forensic anthropology: “legal” anthropology
Find the manner and means of death.
Like cultural, but the subjects are dead and have been
dead for a long time
Study a wide range of cultures and time periods
o Specialty fields
Historical, medical, religions, etc.
LOOK FOR PATTERNS! RECOGNIZE AND EXPLAIN!
MODELS: EVOLUTION AND CULTURE
EVOLUTION: things change
o “There is irreversible change”
o Biological or cultural study
Similar but not the same
SCIENCE: “S” or “s”
Hard (“S”) or soft (“s”) science
o Hard meaning based on only facts o Soft meaning not tested and based on experience and tests.
The information is not explicit.
Pseudoscience: “fake science”
o TV is filled with incidents of this.
o Ex. History channel showing aliens and unrealistic things.
o Not separating facts from wishes.
“Science plays by the rules.”
Statistics can be misused
o Unintentionally or purposely
Laws of science do NOT change
o Ex. gravity
Laws can be identified
o If there is an anomaly in the results, then you most likely did
o HYPOTHESIS: testable statement based on observations
Occam’s Razor: “multiplicity ought not to be positive”
o K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple Stupid
o Often the simplest is easier to test and is more correct.
o Grammar for proper behavior
o Shared (but not equally)
o Learned (ex. Education in school, parents, experiences,
o Based on symbols and determine behavior
o Integrated/Holistic (parts fit together)
Searching for understanding
The human race could never reach the same place again if we had
to start over again.
Search for PATTERNS
Searching for patterns is part of the working of science
o Multiple tests to be RIGHT
o Only takes one bad test to be proven WRONG
WHY DO WE USE SCIENCE IN ANTHROPOLOGY?
To support hypotheses
Physical anthropology: biological, concept of evolution.
o “change over time” o Similar to Biological Anthropology
o Who are we? Who are our relatives?
Genetically, we can trace everyone back to Africa
Chimps are our closest living species
o Biology and culture are important
Taxonomy: science of naming
o Classification of living things
o Each category represents a more exclusive group.
1. Kingdom: Animal
2. Class: Mammal
3. Order: Primates
4. Suborder: Prosimians (pre monkey); Anthropoids
5. Superfamily: Hominoid; Old/New World Monkeys
6. Family: Hominid
a. Why are we human? What differentiates us? What
makes us human?
7. Genus: Homo; Australopithecus
8. Species: Sapiens (wise), etc.
9. Subspecies: Homo sapiens sapiens
SMALL AND GREAT APES vs. HUMANS
Multiple similarities and differences, some are more important than
o Posture, internal organs, body chemistry, etc.
Arboreal vs. terrestrial
Brachiating vs. non brachiating
Prehensile vs. semi-prehensile
o Seen in apes and humans
Sagittal (top of the head) and nuchal (attaches the back of the skull
to the rest of the body) crest
o Nuchal allows for holding the head up
There is a difference in DEGREE, not KIND.
o Ex. Bipedalism, tails, etc.
So what makes us human? o Our minds, the