ANTB14 midterm notes .docx

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Michael Schillaci

* = Exam question Introduction to Evolutionary Anthropology: Chapter 1 and Lecture notes Anthropology is holistic consists of socio-cultural anthropology (comparison of societies and cultures), linguistic and semiotic anthropology (language and communication), archeology (material evidence of humans ancestors past), medical anthropology (human health and culture), and biological anthropology (study of human and non-human primates). What Do Evolutionary Anthropologist Study? Evolutionary anthropology specialize in primatology, paleoanthropology, human variation, medical anthropology, and forensic anthropology. Primatology study of non-human primate species Paleoanthropology biological evolution of humans and non-human primates They excavate fossils and study changes in human cultural activities. They also study the evolutionary history of behaviour in human and non-human primates. Human variation determine spatial and temporal variations. There are not only variations in outer appearance but there are also skeletal and dental variations. Medical Anthropology study of how social, environmental, and biological factors influence health and illness of individuals. Investigate spatial and temporal variations in human survival, disease, and health disparity. Forensic anthropology focuses on skeletal remains of humans (determine sex, age, stature, ancestry, and possible disease or trauma) How Do Evolutionary Anthropologists Conduct Their Research? There are three types of research: descriptive, casual, and applied Descriptive collect data about the study subject or objects (doesnt provide reason for results obtained in other words they do not demonstrate casual relationships) Causal research looking for one thing that causes another thing to occur (cause and effect relationships) Applied research determines means by specific steps A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses. A common theory is based upon personal opinion A hypothesis is a testable statement about the natural world that a researcher uses to build inferences (reasoning to build up a conclusion) and explanations. Scientists make sure that the hypothesis is falsifiable (disproves the hypothesis). Scientists use observations from past experiments to formulate and test a hypothesis. Dont prove it you fail to reject it (support the theory). Evolutionary anthropologists use the scientific method. There are five sequential processes: 1. Observation of the phenomena 2. Formulation of a hypothesis 3. Developing methods to test the validity of the hypothesis 4. Experimentation 5. Conclusion that supports or modifies the hypothesis. 1 * = Exam question The scientific method constructed by the scientists must be repeatable, observable, empirical, and measurable. The data collected can either be quantitative (numerical) or qualitative (non-numerical). Development of Evolutionary Concepts Name of scientists Contributions to the theory of evolution Aristotle Observed the anatomy of many aquatic fish and indicated that they 2600 years ago were thousands of years ahead of their time Zhuangzi Suggested that living things have the power to transform themselves 2400 years ago to adapt to their surroundings Carl Linnaeus (1707 Classified plants and animals 1778) He introduced the taxonomic system Swedish botanist Introduced the binomial nomenclature (scientific method for assigning names to species and genra) George-Louis Leclerc 36- volume Histoire Naturelle (1749 1788) (1707-1778) This book allowed us to form the core concepts of biogeography. French aristocrat He also believed that species changed and evolved after they moved mathematician and away from the place they were created. naturalist Jean- Baptist Lamarck Reformulated and specified how organisms change (1744 1829) Organisms lose characteristics that they dont use and develop French soldier and useful characteristics that the individual can pass on to their academic offsprings. He believed the changes occurred due to an unknown nervous fluid. He also theorized that environmental factors could change behaviour and biological organs. Lamarckism theory of inheritance of acquired characters and soft inheritance (not accepted) It is important to note that he believed the changes occurs within an individual throughout their lifetime wrong Georges Cuvier (1769 Published structural similarities and differences between organisms 1832) aristocratic (comparative anatomy and paleontology) French naturalist Contribution to the evolutionary theory = comparative anatomy of extant and extinction of mammals (against the religious belief of fixity of species: species are created by god and will always exist) Catastrophism the idea that catastrophic events alter geological features and caused the extinction of plants and animals this view challenges the earths age At that time the earth was believed to be 5700 years old (biblical interpretation) James Hutton Upheaval and erosion of sedimentary rocks has occurred for (1726-1797) millions of years Scottish naturalist and Uniformitarianism a theory that natural processes, such as geologist erosion, operating in the past are the same as those that operates in the present. Charles Lyell (1726 Made major contributions in stratigraphy (study of rock layers) and 1797) Scottish geologist glaciology (how glaciers are formed) Book: Principles of geology (1830-1833) 2 * = Exam question Example of the binomial nomenclature for humans is Homo sapiens Note that the term Homo sapiens is Latin the first letter is capitalized and the whole term is in italics. Homo refers to the genus and sapiens refers to our species. Charles Darwin (1809 1882) English geologist and naturalist Attended medical school but wasnt interested. He grew an interest in zoology, taxonomy and basic concepts of biological evolution. Enrolled in theology at Cambridge University. He joined an expedition to survey geological formations in Wales and this is where he heard of the HMS Beagle, which was to set sail to survey the coast of South America. The two-year trip extended to five years and the HMS Beagle explored the eastern and western coast of South America, the Galapagos Islands, Australia, various islands in the Indian Ocean and South Africa. Darwin read Lyells book on the principles of Geology. He married his cousin Emma Wedgwood shortly after his return from the trip. His research was not only based upon his dead plant and animal collection but he also spoke to specialists about his collection and read Malthuss An Essay on the Principle of Population. In An Essay on the Principle of Population Malthus proposed that Human population can grow at geometric rates while food can increase at an arithmetic rate Death, disease, and natural restraint limit human population growth With the information from Malthus book and with the concept of selective breeding Darwin formulated the basics of the theory of natural selection. - Favourable variants or traits of individuals of a species should enable some to better compete in nature - The environment favors certain traits that allow some individuals to survive more than others - If the favourable traits are passed on to offsprings over a long period of time new species may appear. Fitness is measured by the number of offsprings an individual has In other words Darwins theory is based on 3 postulates or concepts of natural selection 1. A struggle for existence (resources are limited) 2. Variation in fitness (physical or behavioural traits may allow individuals to complete better) 3. Inheritance of variation (individuals pass on the traits to their offsprings) Darwin was afraid that his ideas would be rejected and that is one of the reasons why it took him so long to publish his idea. At around 1858 Darwin came across the unpublished work of Alfred Russel Wallace 3 * = Exam question Wallace (1823 1913) British naturalist wrote an essay that had close similarities with Darwins theory of natural selection. Darwin finally published his book and on November 22, 1859 Darwins book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection went on sale. Darwin theorized that all extant and extinct species share a common ancestry tree of life. Closely related species share a recent common ancestor. Darwin noted that the process of species formation was a slow, g
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