Biological and Archeology Definitions

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University of Toronto St. George
Christopher Watts

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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