lecture note

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16 Dec 2010
Anthropology: Becoming Human
Final exam is not cumulative.
-main objective: why are we so different from different species?
History: written recordsPrehistory: use archaeology to infer on finding out the truth
Marina- sunken ships, underwater artifacts
Sept 22- Lecture #2
Evolution is descent with modification, Evolution happens to a species/population, not to individuals.
Species is a group of creatures which breed together and produce viable and fertile offspring. May be
quite similar in appearance(deer) or quite cariable (dogs). May all live in one part of the world(polar
bears) or in many parts of the world (right whales). Share behavioural traits relating to social groups, food
preferences, reproductive strategies, etc. They distinguish between members of own species and others.
Where do we as humans stand?
1859-Darwin published The Origin of Species.
1. Natural Selection
2. Survival of the Fittest
3. Adaptation to the Environment
4. Traits already present (variation)
5. Sexual Selection
History of Origins
-origin of Earth & therefore humans based on his interpretation of the bible. Ussher he was the first to
attempt to figure the age of Earth in 1650 AD. October 23rd 4004BC was the age at 9am.
Catastrophists. George Cuvier tried to explain how canyons and mountains were formed. If only 6000
years old, then global and violent catastrophes to explain canyons, mountains, etc?
Burnet everything happened slowly, erosion happens slowly by seeing water erosion or wind.
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Uniformitatianism- idea of processes that occur today also happened in the past. Things that have
happened in the past have happened today. Buffon to learn about the earth, study the earth –processes
are known, natural and observable.
Hutton slow working, uniform & natural processes = hundreds of thousands of years. Lyell said it could
be 100 000 years old.. The present is the key to the past.
The earth is actually 4.5 billion years old.
Linneus (1758) found patterns in different mammals. Looked at different arms from different species. We
all have elbow joints, smaller bones to move our wrist, and 5 fingers, etc. Comparitive biology.
Categorising th worlds plants and animals. He basically named us as an animal. 7 basic layers or taxon
levels. Kingdom _____ etc.
Life on Earth had changed. Conclusion of the enlightenment period. Fossils, extinct animals, strata
How did the Earth/ Species change”
Deposits that are older on the bottom but newer deposits are on the top. We can see this with many things.
There was no evidence that things had ever changed so this was breakthrough evidence.
Colonization. Identified new peoples not mentioned in the bible. Archaeology. Stone tools.
Thunderstones. Evidence of making tools before the use of metals. Lightening caused the rocks to shatter.
Lamarck- first mechanism
1. Adaptation to the environment
Used short necked giraffe. The earth had changed from beign heavily forested to a savannah. It was more
advantageous for it to be able to reach the taller leaves. We adapt to our environment to survive better. Our
reach towards perfection”. Inheritance to acquired traits. Acquired the long neck by stretching it and this
would be passed off to their offspring.
2. Progression towards perfection.
3. _____
Darwin & Wallace: Mechanism of Natural Selection
Natural selection- variation already exists between individuals of the same species, allows for adaptation
to changed in the environment.
Survival of the fittest and sexual selection- those individuals that are by chance best adapted to an
environment will have higher reproductive success.
-increases _____
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