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ANTHROP 2FF3 Chapter Notes -Franz Boas, Polygenism, Harris Lines

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Hendrik Poinar

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Genetics and Evolution (Continued…)
Anthropology 1Z03- January 27, 2010
Lactose Intolerance
Close proximity to cattle (milk products)
“Secondary products revolution”- using animals parts and functions (i.e. cow hide)
Lactose is not well tolerated (esp. in East Asian’s and Native/Africans Americans)
Changes in gene frequencies from one generations to the next
Note: “Deme” = a reproductive/breeding population (change over the short term)
Traced at a genetic level
Large scale evolution- when speciation events occur
Occurs over hundreds and thousands of years
Ancient DNA (aDNA)- used in some cases, if not decayed
Patterns, sizes and shapes looked at
E.g. Horse hooves
How are species isolated?
If an environmental barrier is created
E.g. Ostrich (Africa) vs. Emu (Australia)
Isolation > speciation
Why does extinction happen?
No sufficient variation (among individuals)
Greater adaptability fir a competitor species (subspecies)
Human Genome Project
Mapping out various genes on various loci
Shows predisposition to certain in-life diseases
Genetic engineering
o Genetically modified foods/organisms (GM/GMO)
o Splicing DNA occurs where they place bits in other organisms (“best bits”)
o Can make certain species hardier
This could possibly swamp the natural gene pool of certain organisms
Corporations have legal rights over certain species w/ particular genes
o Cloning of sheep/humans (ethical issues?)
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Biology in the Present (Ch.5)
Anthropology 1Z03- January 27, 2010
Biological Affinity (race)
Patterned phenotypic variation within a species (often skin color)
Breeding population vs. the whole population
There are landmarks for measuring midorbital or interorbital breadths
o E.g. Inca bones in First nations skulls (not seen in normal skulls)
o E.g.- Carabelli’s cusps- on first molar (European descent)
Note: Time Periods:
Pre 1300s: Generally slow overland travel, variation not striking
1300s: Long distance travel (port to port), more striking human differences
1700s: Linnaeus and taxonomy, split humans into different groups
o Johann Fredrich Blumenbach
Grouped different people via. There race
Races were “static” and did not change over time
Did not look at living populations
Monogenists vs. Polygenists
o All humans descended from Adam and Eve
o The was a varied due to environmental differences
o No evolutionary change implied
o Believed that not all humans descended from Adam and Eve
o The different descendent groups were considered to be diff. species
Biological Determinism
Various attributes an behaviors are governed by biological/genetic factors
Inaccurate association of certain biological traits such as skin color
Franz Boas
Father of American Anthropology
Studied variation between recent immigrants to USA and offspring
Looking at measurements (head width and length)
Boas found change in offspring’s head shape (differences could be quantified)
Proved that these traits were not static (challenged Blumenbach)
Found 94% of genetic diversity occurs within a group (not between)
Therefore, very few of our traits pertain from where we are from
Results indicate:
o Individual variation in DNA profiles overwhelm inter-population differences
o MORE physical, physiological and genetic diversity within a single geographic
group (than between a race)
o Racism: Socially-constructed categorization practice
o Thus, race is an outdated practice
Human Life History (Conception Adulthood) --- Note the graph in the notes!
Prenatal (9 months in 3 trimesters)
Postnatal (birth to 20 years) Body comes “together” at age 20
Adult (20 to senescence/death/”old-man”)
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