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Lectures 1 and 2 (notes going towards exam 1) 1/19 & 1/21

by: pcoliver96

Lectures 1 and 2 (notes going towards exam 1) 1/19 & 1/21 ANTH1013 001

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set of notes that cover material going towards exam 1 in bio anthropology
Introduction to Biological Anthropology 
Lucas Delezene
Class Notes
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by pcoliver96 on Friday January 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH1013 001 at University of Arkansas taught by Lucas Delezene in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 137 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Biological Anthropology  in ANTH at University of Arkansas.


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Date Created: 01/22/16
University of Arkansas ANTH 1013 – Intro to Biological Anthropology Delezene Bio Anthropology: Lecture 1 Notes (notes going towards exam 1) Broad definition: study of humans across time and space -anthropology studies the interactions between evolutionary and cultural factors Subfields of anthropology: -cultural anthropology – study of human societies -linguistic anthropology – study of language, its origins & use -archaeology – study of the material culture of past people -biological (physical anthropology) – study of human biology within an evolutionary framework (primatology, paleoanthropology, functional anatomy, forensics, skeletal biology, genetics) Primatology: -diet -locomotion (how a primate moves) -social behavior -comparative anatomy What is paleoanthropology? -fossil collection, lab research, archaeological excavation, paleoecology How do you know what you think you know? -every possible idea + individual beliefs -bio anthropology makes use of science as a way of knowing -science is a way of acquiring knowledge -seeks natural causal explanations for observable phenomenon -searches for observable regularity -relies on empirical observation by independent observers -requires that proposed explanations be falsifiable – able to be proven false -has nothing to say about unobservable and/or supernatural processes or unique events -makes claims that are always provisional – open to rejection University of Arkansas ANTH 1013 – Intro to Biological Anthropology Delezene -science begins with an observation of potential causal connection between two events -example: “a jar of picric acid is dropped”, “when it hits the ground, i t explodes” -on the basis of this observation, we might suggest that when picric acid is shaken, it explodes -the statement, “when it hits the ground, it explodes” is a hypothesis – a statement that suggests a casual relationship between the eve nts, a proposed explanation, a guess about how something works (when “x”, then “y”) How do we know if a hypothesis is a “good” one? Can it be addressed using the scientific method? -we have to think about our hypotheses first and establish that it’s p ossible to prove it wrong and describe what could be observed that would prove it wrong – this is what falsifiable means -if it can’t be proven wrong, it has no valuable use -example: is the hypothesis, “when picric acid is shaken, it explodes” falsifiable? What can be conducted to prove it wrong? How do we know if a hypothesis is correct? -test it by evaluating how regular it is – seeing how many times the same results are concluded -test a hypothesis by looking for conditions where “x” occurs, and observe whether “y” also occurs -if “y” doesn’t always occur, then the hypothesis is rejected -if “y” does always occur, then the hypothesis is supported, but still gets tested multiple times **the real power of a test usually lies in its ability to reject a hypothesis – always the goal -if the hypothesis undergoes rigorous testing by multiple independent observers under careful conditions without being rejected, scientists will begin to have increased confidence that it’s correct and may use it as an explanation -all explanatory statements are provisional in science – any of them could be replaced with new data -some hypotheses have been tested so thoroughly that scientists have very high confidence in them – these can be known as laws University of Arkansas ANTH 1013 – Intro to Biological Anthropology Delezene -an example of a well supported hypothesis is: “primates that eat leaves or insects evolve long shearing crests on their teeth” Theory in science -a theory is a well-established and interrelated set of facts and hypotheses that’s used to explain diverse events and phenomena -examples of theories used in science: germ theory, gravitational theory, quantum theory, evolutionary theory Biological anthropology as a historical science -any field that hopes to explain events that happened in the past runs into the problem of not being able to see events directly – does this make them “unscientific”? -science doesn’t rely on direct observation -using well-established laws can explain past events -laws allow scientists to predict future events, as long as they are regular and the conditions where they work are understood Lecture 2 Notes (notes going towards exam 1) Darwin’s theories: -why are there groups of similar species? -why is there a hierarchical pattern of similarity among species? -how is the diversity of life on earth explained? -answer to these questions: populations of organisms form lineages that evolve and split into multiple daughter species Evolutionary hypothesis explain adaptation and diversity -if lineages diverse to create multiple daughter species that look slightly different, then: -individuals within populations vary -variation is heritable (genetic basis for traits) -if organisms adapt to their environment as a result of natural selection, then: -processes observed in populations today must have occurred in the past (uniformitarianism) University of Arkansas ANTH 1013 – Intro to Biological Anthropology Delezene -environmental change -competition for limited resources -if this branching pattern explains the diversity of living organisms, then lots of time is required (deep time) Darwin’s hypotheses in a nutshell: -the earth is old and is in constant flux (or change); the environment is constantly changing and populations adapt that change Challenges to Darwin’s theories -the special place of humans in nature – human biology is distinct from everything else -the perfect fit of organisms to their environment -teleology: the apparent “design” of organisms -special creation and the immutability (fixity) of species -age of earth Special creation and teleology -the apparent perfect “design” of organisms -making reference to purpose – goal oriented (teleology) -the Greek word telos means “in”, “goal”, or “purpose” -the world is in perfect harmony -since creation is perfect, extinction is impossible -Paley (natural theology) -the watchmaker metaphor: “the craftsman who made the world” (Mayr) The immutability (fixity) of species -Plato’s essentialism: a belief that things have a set of unchanging characteristics that make them what they are – variation among things is an unimportant deviation from the “essence” -variation is unimportant -emphasis on constancy and discontinuity -focus is on “gaps” between species -no change in forms is possible, since it would require a change in the “essence” University of Arkansas ANTH 1013 – Intro to Biological Anthropology Delezene Essentialism is inconsistent with evolution -prior to the 1830s, most naturalists professed the following essentialist beliefs: -species are composed of similar individuals sharing the same essence -species are separated from one another by well-defined discontinuities (species are easy to tell apart) -species are constant through time (i.e. fixed, immutable) -there are stringent limitations to the possible variation of any one species Archbishop Ussher (1650): young earth -annals of the old testament, deduced from the first origin of the world -said that the earth was created in 4004 BC (approx. 6,000 years old) Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778): cataloged essences -published Systema Naturae in 1735 -cataloger of nature -father of taxonomy and systematics -created Linnaean hierarchy: kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species Carolus Linnaeus hierarchical patterns in nature reveal the divine plan of creation, not evolution -strict essentialist, believed in the fixity of species: -“we count as many species as different forms were created in the beginning” -focused on the gaps between species -the word “species” is derived from the Latin word, specere, which means, “to see” The French revolution: Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) -embraced extinction -proposed catastrophism: different floods wiped out creation, followed by newer, better creations – today’s creation (Genesis) is the latest and best -recognized that different animals occur in different strata, or layers of rock -radical – challenged idea that creation is perfect University of Arkansas ANTH 1013 – Intro to Biological Anthropology Delezene Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) -created the term “biology” -proposed one of the first evolutionary hypotheses: -inheritance of acquired characteristics: “vital essences” – sense need through use, change the form and pass on to offspring -first serious theoretical attempt to explain mechanism of evolution -interaction between organism and environment -Lamarck’s theory that acquired characteristics can be passed to offspring -example: short-necked giraffes stretched to reach higher into trees for food, and their necks grew longer – acquired trait passed on to offspring born with longer necks French influence on English thinking: Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) -expressed ideas of evolution and transmutation of species long before Charles Darwin Changing perspectives: Charles Lyell (1797-1875) -known as the ‘father of modern geology’ -composed Principles of Geology (1830-1833) Charles Lyell: influences on Darwin -uniformitarianism: geological processes at work today (erosion, volcanism, uplift, etc.) were also at work in the past -emphasizes the continuity of process throughout time -allows you to infer the past by identifying the features produced by current processes -to account for all of the geological changes recorded in the earth’s rocks requires a lot of time: deep time SAMPLE QUESTIONS + ANSWERS th • One explanation for the changes that 19 century naturalists saw in the fossil record was that periodic natural disasters caused many species in an area to go extinct. This idea is called: catastrophism • Which of the following philosophical perspectives suggested that the natural world was created with a purpose? (i.e. from a “template” or “blueprint”) – teleology University of Arkansas ANTH 1013 – Intro to Biological Anthropology Delezene • Which of the following types of inheritance did Lamarck argue was a mechanism for producing evolutionary change in organisms? – inheritance of acquired characteristics • According to archbishop Ussher, the earth is how old? – 6,000 years


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