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Biological variation: How do people differ?
biological variation: How are people the same?
- they all have:
- ability to learn
- social groups - have kinship networks (consanguineous relationships (blood) or affinal relationships (marriage) or fictive relationship ?????)
- same species
- learn much of their social group behavior
- huge brains - encephalized
- we can all learn each other's language
- share 98.6 % of our DNA with chimps
- share 99.7% of our DNA with neanderthals (doesn't take much genetic material to change)
What is evolution?
the cumulative changes in the average genetic characteristics of a population generally thought to occur over many generations
12 types of species??? chimp - homo sapien sapien
what changed robusticity in humans?
understand humans evolutionary story - from scientific perspective
What is anthropology as a discipline?
- the study of human beings
- focuses on a holistic approach (whole perspective instead of one ie. kinshipp, class, ideology, behavior etc.)
- comparative study (cross cultural comparison compares similarities, differences, and complexities of cultures)
- interdisciplinary - involves other academic disciplines
what is culture?
the ways of doing and acting that are passed down through generations and NOT by genetics via a learned behavior
4 branches (subdisciplines) of Anthropology
- (applied anthropology)
study of language
studies material remains of dead people to analyze past human populations through artifacts, architecture, ecofacts and landscapes.
scientific discipline concerned with the biological and behavioral characteristics of human beings; our closest relatives, the non human primates; and their ancestors
Branches of physical/biological anthropology
- molecular genetics
- forensic anthropology
- study of early human ancestors
- focus on fossils
- use skeletal information and empirical observation to reconstruct lifeways
- figures out what life was like to determine what is human about them
- can reconstruct the face using the crania
- study of human body measurements
- conduct comparative study
- document physical, variation, size of cranium & cranial capacity
- focuses on modern people
- looks for DNA comparisons and genetic differences and distances of people
- almost all our genes are the same, but they look for minute differences that give us an idea how long ago people split from one another.
- study of non human primates
- how primate behaviors are similar to ours
- focus on relatedness amongst members of primata
- study of the skeleton
- important for interpreting fossils (explain stature)
- understand mechanics & nutrition
- study of skeletal disease and trauma
- skeletons over the course of history can show violence, lack of nutrition etc.
- application of anthropological techniques to legal political, and special interest issues
- can break things down and identify race, stature, gender, time of death
- german nazi responsible for death of 400,000 jewish and minority groups
- never caught by nazi hunters, but was closely related to another person's identity through the use of forensic anthropology comparing, gender, stature, and wound
- a process of understanding things through observation, generalization and verification
- relies on experiment and empirical data (where verification comes from)
knowable and observable data
- explanatory framework
- set of assumptions derived from observation that has been tested and accepted as more accurate from competing explanations
- can have more than one theory operating at the same time
tentative assumptions or premise that accounts for relationships between expirical observations
whats the nature of scientific inquiry
cyclical process of scientific method
- observe, test, experiment
- evaluate outcomes & hypothesis
diagram of scientific method
theories supported by testing hypothesis:
- deductive reasoning: hypothesis before the facts. formulate hypothesis first and then test with new observations
- inductive reasonsing: collect data first
- scientific model: a simplified representation of relaity that is devided for the purpose of testing hypothesis (conceptual framework for explaining things)
- physical models: interplay between theory and observation
example: theory and hypothesis
theory: the physical makeup of human beings is partially the result of local ecology (where you live)
hypothesis: people in tropical climates will have physical features that make heat dissipation efficient
difference between natural selection and culture
the human experience
- need to understand variation, diversity and how it related to culture
- this helps to avoid ethnocentrism