Study Notes on Biological Anthropology

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Christopher Watts

BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY Chapter 1: Intro to Evolutionary Anthro 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. Evolutionary Anthrolpologists: Seek to answer questions about where we come from, who we are, and why were here. They specialize in 5 research areas: PPHMF PRIMATOLOGY: scientific study of our closest extant biological relatives: non human primate species. PALEOANTHROPOLOGY: the multidisciplinary study of the biological evolution of humans and nonhuman primates. (ie. Fossils, and investigating changes in human cultural activities, tool use, subsistence patters, disease, ect) HUMAN VARIATION: to determine spatial and temporal variations in human features. MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY: study of how social, environmental, and biological factors influence health and illness of individuals at the community, regional, national and global levels. A recent addition. FORENSIC ANTHROLPOLOGY: focusing on the skeletal remains, to determine age, sex, stature, ancestry, and any trauma or disease of the deceased. Types of Research: 3 types. DESCRIPTIVE: collecting data about the study subjects or objects CASUAL: looking for one thing that causes another to happen or change. APPLIED: determining the means by which a specific, recognized need can be met. Scientific Method: 5 sequential processes Observation of the phenomena Formulation of the Hypothesis concerning the phenomena Development of Methods to test the validity of the hypothesis Experimentation Conclusion that supports or modifies the hypothesis Data collected by scientists must be : repeatable, observable, empirical, and measurable. Evolutionary Concepts: History: Ideas on biological evolution traced back 2600 years ago, in ancient Greece and Asia, to Aristotle and Zhuangzi. Aristotle: observed that the anatomy of various aquatic mammals and fish were thousands of years ahead of their time. Zhuangzi: living things have the power to transform themselves to adapt to their surroundings. Carl Linnaeus: Swedish botanist. Interested in classifying plants and animals. the father of modern taxonomy . Contributed 1) a taxonomic system. And 2) the binomial nomenclature- a method used to name plants and animals in Latin terms. Linnaean taxonomy classifies all living things in ranked hierarchy- from domain to species level- though its been revised the basics are still used today. Format is : Genus species. George Louis Leclerc: French mathematician and naturalist. Wrote the Histoire Naturelle. Ideas on core concepts of biogeography (where organisms live, at what adundance, and why). Idea that species changed and evolved after they moved away from the place they were created.
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