ANT101H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Statistical Hypothesis Testing, Medical Anthropology, Anthropometry
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Introduction to Anthropology
•We are better prepared to face the future because, unlike our ancestors, we have
knowledge of how and why old societies failed/succeeded.
Evolution A change in the genetic structure of a population from one generation to the next.
Appearance of new species.
Anthropology The field of inquiry that studies human culture and evolutionary aspects of
human biology; includes cultural anthropology, archeology, linguistics, and physical
Genetics, anatomy, skeletal structure, adaptation to disease, and other environmental
Scientific Method An approach to research whereby a problem is identified, a hypothesis (or
hypothetical explanation) is stated, and that hypothesis is tested through the collection
and analysis of data.
The Biocultural Approach
Biocultural Evolution The mutual, interactive evolution of human biology and culture; the
concept that biology makes culture possible and that developing culture further
influences the direction of biological evolution; a basic concept in understanding the
unique components of human evolution humans are combined effort of biology and
Culture All aspects of human adaptation, including technology, traditions, language, religion
and social roles. Culture is a set of learned behaviour; it is transmitted from one
generation to the next through learning and not by biological or genetic means
•Strategy by which we adapt to natural and social environments in which they live
Species A group of organisms that can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Members of one
species are reproductively isolated from members of all other species (i.e., they can’t
mate with them to produce fertile offspring).
Society a group of people who share a common culture
Enculturation the process why which individuals, generally as children, learn the values and
beliefs of family, peer groups, and society in which they are raised
Adaptation Functional response of organisms or populations to the environment. Adaptation
results from evolutionary change (specifically, as a result of natural selection)
What is Anthropology?
•Study of humankind
•Integrates the findings of many disciplines, including sociology, economics, history,
psychology, and biology
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