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Lecture 5

ANTH 2 Lecture 5: Lecture #5

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Evolution: Conditions and History Why Evolution? ● 19th century Social Evolutionism ● Franz Boas’ critique ● Is evolution a valid concept? Biology - Darwin ● Natural selection - the mechanism of evolution ○ Why is the mechanism at work here? ● “Evolution by variation and selective retention” ○ Struggle for existence ■ Organisms are trying to get things survive; be successful and reproduce ■ Everyone is competing with one another for resources ○ Differential fitness ■ The way that their physical composition would relate to the environmental conditions in which they lived in ■ Biological traits will be different than that of others ○ Variety inherited overtime ■ Population will look different, but will still have a variety ● No foresight to evolution: no necessary destination for evolution ○ Relationship between people, conditions, and shift overtime ● Finches in Galapagos ○ Variety is inherited - wide array of physical traits ○ Peter and Rosemary Grant ■ Drought ■ Strong beaks were best able to survive drought conditions ● Shift towards stronger beaks ● When rain fell, shifted back (temporary condition) ■ Population shift ● Sickle Cell ○ Two HbA (homozygous) = normal hemoglobin ○ Two HbS = lethal sickle cell anemia ○ One of each (heterozygous) = nonlethal sickle-cell syndrome ■ Resistant to Malaria ○ Lessons from Sickle Cell ■ “Fitness” is relative to conditions ■ Not “the strongest survive” ■ Humans change their environments, environments change humans ● Multilineal Social Evolution ○ Darwin’s influence: ■ Relations between organisms and environments ● Humans create social relationships and ideas to deal with their environment ■ No necessary destination ○ Social evolution introduces cultural, group dynamics ■ Not a rela
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