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[ANTHRO 7] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (15 pages long!)


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHRO 7
Professor
Joseph Manson
Study Guide
Midterm

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UCLA
ANTHRO 7
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Anthro 7
Winter 2017
What you should be prepared to do (with references to relevant lectures, readings
and homework problems in the format Chapter #:Question #):
(1) Distinguish, in a narrative account of a scientific research project, between
theories, hypotheses, assumptions, data and inferences (Lecture: the scientific
method).
Theory: give us the power to deduce hypotheses about a wide range of phenomena, tell us what
to look for (what variables mean), post puzzles and suggest their solutions, serve as guides to
empirical discoveries
Hypothesis: often based on theories, proposes causal relationships at a more abstract level,
covering a wider range of phenomena (variables)
Assumptions: statement accepted as true without evidence, can be testable
Data: subject’s answers to questions, obtained by conducting the same measurement on every
item in a sample that’s representative of the population of interest
Inferences: conclusions made from the data
(2) Describe each of Darwin’s postulates in a complete sentence. Describe why each
postulate must hold for natural selection to occur (Lecture: natural selection; pp. 5-
6).
1. Carrying Capacity: The ability of populations to expand is infinite, but the ability of any
environment to support populations is finite.
a. This must hold true for natural selection to occur because it creates competition
among individuals in a population for resources. Those who have a greater ability
to obtain those resources are selected for and will be more able to survive and
reproduce.
2. Variation: organisms within populations vary, and this variation affects the ability of
individuals to survive and reproduce
a. This must hold true for natural selection to occur because variation can lead to
differential reproduction, the idea that organisms best adapted to a given
environment will be most likely to survive to reproductive age and have offspring.
These individuals who have certain traits that are beneficial to their environment
will be more likely to be successful in reproduction, and therefore will be better-
adapted organisms compared to those who do not have the trait.
3. Heredity: Variation is transmitted from parents to offspring
a. This must hold true for natural selection to occur because it allows the features
parents have to be passed onto offspring. More adaptive traits will be inherited by
future generations, which will increase the populations’ fitness.
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(3) Explain how the studies of changes in beak depth in medium ground finches (pp.
6-10) and toxin resistance in Daphnia (lecture: natural selection) illustrate Darwin’s
postulates in action.
Beak Depth in Medium Ground Finches:
1. Carrying Capacity/”struggle for existence”: drought occurred that limited food resources
and limited the amount of finches that the environment could maintain.
2. Variation: Finches with small beak depth and finches with larger beak depth were both
apparent on the island. Finches with larger beak depths are more capable of eating large
seeds and finches with small beak depths are more capable of eating smaller seeds. The
drought created a lack of smaller seeds available to the finches. Therefore, the finches
with larger beak depths were more able to obtain food as compared to the finches with
small beak depth.
3. Heritability: The finches with larger beak depths survived and produced more offspring
than those with smaller beak depths. Finches with larger beak depths passed on the trait
that allowed their offspring to have larger beak depths and a higher chance of survival
and reproduction.
*****Toxin resistance in Daphnia:
1. Carrying Capacity/”struggle for existence”: Presence of cyanobacteria caused a shift in
the environment. Toxin-resistant strains out reproduced the less resistant strains in the
face of “hostile forces of nature”.
2. Variation: Toxin resistance was already present in some of the Daphnia individuals
before the presence of cyanobacteria caused a problem.
3. Heritability: Daphnia eggs deposited after the increase in cyanobacteria density showed
greater resistance to the toxinsclones from different periods differed genetically
(4) Recognize and correct any of the common misunderstandings of/confusions about
evolution by natural selection (Lecture: natural selection; pp. 10-20). One or more of
these misunderstandings/confusions may be embedded in a quote that will appear
in an exam question.
Clarifications and Corrections of Common Misunderstandings:
1. Adaptations generally benefit individual’s survival and reproduction, even at the
expense of the species’ well-being
2. What changes in evolution is the composition of a population, not the characteristics
of individuals. NO PERSONAL EVOLUTION
3. Natural selection is not a circular argument (traits that persist are the ones that
persist) the traits that persist are those that are better designed.
a. Ex. Deeper beaks are better for larger seeds
4. Natural selection is NOT random chance. The variation upon which selection acts is
generated randomly, but selection is NON-RANDOM differential reproduction
a. Convergent evolution shows that some adaptations are good tricks
5. Natural selection usually acts to prevent evolution rather than to cause it (stabilizing
selection)
6. Natural selection can build complex adaptations, step by step
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