Biological and Archeology Definitions

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Published on 16 Apr 2011
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Definitions:
Anthropology = the global and holistic study of human culture and biology.
Holistic = considering all aspects of the research subject.
Biological anthropology = the study of human and non human primates in their biological
and demographic dimensions.
Extant = living representatives of a species exist.
Primate = any extant or extinct member of the order of mammals, that includes lemurs,
tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans.
Fossils = organic remains that have been transformed by geological processes into a
mineralized form.
Extinct = no living representative of a species exists.
Scientific Theory = a well substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world
that incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses.
Common Theory = an idea based only on conjecture or personal opinion.
Hypothesis = a testable statement about the natural world that a researcher uses to build
inferences and explanations.
Inference = a process of reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from one or more facts.
Falsifiable = a study design that enables the researcher to make observations that disprove
a hypothesis.
Quantitative Data = information numerical in nature
Qualitative Data = non-numerical information.
Taxonomy = the theory and practice of describing, naming, and classifying extant and
extinct organisms.
Bimomial Nomenclature = the scientific method for assigning names to species and genera.
Genus = a taxonomic group of species exhibiting similar characteristics.
Natural History = the study of animals, plants, and minerals.
Biogeography = the scientific study of the geographic distribution of organisms.
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Comparitive Anatomy = the study of anatomical features of animals different species.
Paleontology = the study of fossilized forms.
Fixity of Species = A theory that derives from Biblical creation, in which each living thing
has always existed and will always exist by God`s acts of creation.
Catastrophism = the idea that catastrophic events altered geological features and caused
the extinction of plants and animals.
Geology = the scientific study of the Earth, what it is made of, and how it changes over
time.
School of thought = a group of people united in their shared belief in some ideas or concepts.
Uniformitarianism = a theory that natural processes, such as erosion, operating in the past
are the same as those that operate in the present
Social Darwinism = the misguided application of the concepts of natural selection and
biological evolution to the historical development of human societies, placing special
emphasis on the idea of survival of the fittest.
Creationism = the largely Christian belief that all life was created by a supernatural deity
(typically God), the existence of which is presupposed.
Intelligent Design = The largely Christian belief that living things occur because of
intelligent cause, not as a result of undirected processes, such as evolution and natural
selection.
Theology = the study of religion from a religious perspective.
Agnostic = a person holding the belief that God is unknown and unknowable.
Phenotype = observable traits or characteristics of an organism.
Genes = Basic, functional units of heredity.
Genotype = Genetic makeup of an organism.
Allele = one of several forms of the same gene.
Homozygous = identical rather than different alleles in the corresponding loci of a pair of
chromosomes.
Heterozygous = different rather than identical alleles in the corresponding loci of a pair of
chromosomes.
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Dominant = allele that is fully expressed in the phenotype
Recessive = Allele that is fully expressed in the phenotype only when its paired allele is
identical.
Microevolution = evolutionary changes within populations
Nucleus = part of a eukaryotic cell containing genetic material
Chromosome = double standed DNA molecule in nucleus of eukaryotic cells that carries
genes and functions in the transmission of hereditary information.
Mitosis = Cellular division resulting in two identical daughter cells with the same number
of chromosomes as the parent cell.
Meiosis = Cellular division resulting in each daughter cell receiving half the amount of
DNA as the parent cell. Occurs during the formation of egg and sperm cells in mammals.
Gamete = a sex cell; a sperm or egg.
Autosome = chromosomes not involved in determining an organisms sex
Recombination = the process by which two homologous chromosomes exchange genetic
material during gamete formation.
Nucleotide = a building block of DNA, consisting of a base, sugar, and phosphate group.
Amino Acid = one of a class of 20 molecules that are combined to form proteins in living
things
Protein = a large molecule composed of a specific sequence of amino acids
Transcription = process by which genetic information from DNA is transferred into RNA.
RNA = single stranded nucleic acid. The primary function in a cell is the step between DNA
and protein synthesis.
Cytoplasm = internal fluid, dissolved materials, and cellular organelles within a cell, except
for the nucleus. Primary site for chemical activity.
Translation = process by which info coded in sequence of mRNA is translated into sequence
of amino acids in a protein.
Ribosome = a structure within cells that manufactures proteins by linking together amino
acids according to the coded sequence on a strand of mRNA.
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Document Summary

Anthropology = the global and holistic study of human culture and biology. Holistic = considering all aspects of the research subject. Biological anthropology = the study of human and non human primates in their biological and demographic dimensions. Extant = living representatives of a species exist. Primate = any extant or extinct member of the order of mammals, that includes lemurs, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans. Fossils = organic remains that have been transformed by geological processes into a mineralized form. Extinct = no living representative of a species exists. Scientific theory = a well substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that incorporates facts, laws, predictions, and tested hypotheses. Common theory = an idea based only on conjecture or personal opinion. Hypothesis = a testable statement about the natural world that a researcher uses to build inferences and explanations. Inference = a process of reasoning in which a conclusion is derived from one or more facts.

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