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Evolutionary anthropology (1).docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Shawn Lehman

Evolutionary AnthropologyLecture 1 Chapters 12Biological Anthropology The study of human and nonhuman primates in their biological and demographic dimensionsEvolutionary Anthropology A specialized sub discipline within biological anthropology The application of modern evolutionary theories to the studies of the morphology ecology and behaviour of human and nonhuman primates 5 Research disciplines in evolutionary anthropologyi Primatology The scientific study of our closest extant biological relatives nonhuman primate species Primatologists conduct their research on a variety of primate species and research topics such as primate anatomy primate psychology etcii Paleoanthropology The multidisciplinary study of the biological evolution of humans and nonhuman primates Most known for excavating fossilsAlso investigate the evolutionary history of behaviour in human and nonhuman primates iii Human variation Anthropologists study human variation to determine spatial and temporal variations in human featuresiv Medical anthropology The study of how social environmental and biological factors influence thehealth and illness of individuals at the community regional national and global levelsrecent addition to evolutionary anthropologyv Forensic anthropology Focuses only on the skeletal remains of humans By analyzing human remains forensic anthropologists seek to determine the age sex stature ancestry and any trauma or disease of the deceased How do evolutionary anthropologists conduct their research3 types of research Descriptive causal and applied Descriptive researchInvolves collecting data about the study subjects or objects Does not demonstrate or provide info about causal relationshipsas in correlations between data Causal research Involves looking for one thing that causes another thing to happen or change Applied researchMedical and forensic anthropologists A scientific determines the means by which a specific recognized need can be met What is a theory A scientific theory is a wellsubstantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that incorporates facts laws predictions and natural hypothesesCommon theory an idea based only on conjecture or common opinion A scientific theory differs from a common theory in that a scientific theory is a widely accepted set of ideas that can produce hypotheses that can be tested and refined by the scientific community Whats a hypothesis A hypothesis is a testable inference about the natural world that a researcher uses to build inferences and explanationsHypothesis needs to be falsifiable Must be able to make observations and disprove itThe scientific method
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