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Physical Anthropology

by: Danielle Johnson

Physical Anthropology Anth 385

Danielle Johnson
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
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About this Document

First week of Physical Anthropology notes. Week of 1/25/16.
Intro Physical Anthropology
Dr. Barbian
Class Notes
physical anthropology, Anthropology




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Danielle Johnson on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 385 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Barbian in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see Intro Physical Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.

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Date Created: 01/29/16
Physical Anthropology   Week 1 Notes    Intro Notes  Physical/Biological Anthropology  ● Scientific discipline concerned with biological and behavioral characteristics of human  beings, nonhuman primates and their ancestors  ● human evolution, variation and adaptation     Evolution  ● change in genetic makeup of a population from one generation to the next   ● Macroevolution  ○ can result in a new species  ● Microevolution (most of the time will not result in a new species  ○ genetic alterations within a population  ○ example­lactose intolerance (adaptive evolution)  ○ adaptive evolution appearance of species/speciation     Culture  ● Learned behaviors/ not instinctive   ● all aspects of human adaption  ● sets of all learned behaviors  ● transmitted by non­biological (non­genetic) means    What is Anthropology?  ● Anthropos=humankind, Logos=study of  ● Integrates findings of many disciplines   ● Ties to humanities (social sciences) but is a science    Scientific Method  ● Observations  ● Description  ● Explanation  ● Predictions    Predictions  ● Formulate hypotheses  ● Test them  ● Theory  ○ Broad statement of scientific relationships of underlying principles     Science looks for the “truth”   ● relative  ● subject to change  ○ example how Einstein’s Theory has changed since it was theorized  Religion or Theology looks for the “Truth” and Scientific truth is called “facts”  Physical Anthropology   Week 1 Notes      Four field approach  ● Cultural Anthropology  ○ began as study of nonliterate cultures  ○ grew out of colonialism  ○ approaches  ■ ethnography= study of a specific customs  ■ comparative ethnology=comparison of cultures  ○ Cross culture approach  ■ subfields  ● economic anthropology  ● medical anthropology  ● political anthropology  ● anthropology of religion  ● Linguistic Anthropology  ○ Study of Human Speech and Language   ○ Origins of language  ■ Native American language structure originated from asia  ○ Specific Languages  ○ Types  ■ structural linguistics  ■ historical linguistics  ■ sociolinguistics  ● Archaeology  ○ study pre­literary cultures  ○ study of past cultures using artifacts and other material cultures  ■ historical archaeology­still rely on the artifacts  ■ prehistoric archaeology­pre­literary/ can’t read the writing  ○ with physical anthropology forms the core of paleoanthropology  ● Physical Anthropology/Biological  ○ paleoanthropology  ■ study of human biology and variation   ■ two broad areas of interest  ■ human evolution  ■ human variation  ■ study of fossil remains, human evolution  ■ includes archaeology, geology, and osteology, specialities  Human Evolution  ○ primatology  ○ study of biology and behavior of nonhuman primates   ■ anatomical similarities and differences  ■ ethology studies  ● “in the wild”  Physical Anthropology   Week 1 Notes    ● social relationships  Human Variation  ○ study of biology of human populations   ■ processes involved in adaptation and evolution  ○ Biocultural interactions  ● Skeletal Biology  ○ quantify measurable skeletal differences  ○ identify diseases and disease patterns  ■ learn what the how the diseases affect the skeleton look  ○ Forensic Anthropology  ● Living Population Variation  ○ body size and proportion  ■ hints to health status  ■ how much food an individual gets affects the individual's size  ○ Anatomical structures  ○ Mortality profiles  ○ Physiological responses to heat, cold, humidity, etc  ■ adaptability and microevolution  ○ Disease patterns  ■ why certain populations get certain diseases  ■ certain populations only get certain diseases  Four Field Approach con’t  ● Anthropology is either theoretical or applied  ○ research is not judged on practicality, all knowledge is good  ○ it's not always important to know why you need to apply it  ● Examples of applied anthropology  ○ Cultural resource management (CRM) (archaeology)  ■ are there any old cultural sites so they are not destroyed by development  ○ Forensic Anthropology (physical anthropology)  ■ quantifies physical anthropology knowledge to identify unknown  individuals for forensic purposes  ○ Applied ethnology  ■ multinational corporations learning languages to learn the markets that  they’re trying to get into  ○ Cultural Relativism  ■ Cultures have merits within their own historical and environmental context  ● Each cultures has its own customs and morals so they can not be  condemned  ■ Respect other cultures  ■ Be objective   ● is the ultimate goal   ■ keep an open mind  ○ Ethnocentrism  Physical Anthropology   Week 1 Notes    ■ to view your own culture as superior to all others   ■ regarding other cultures as inferior  ■ cultural prejudice    Evolution    Meaning of Evolution  ● Change over time  ● Organisms related by descent from a common ancestor  ● Evolution through the process of natural selection  ○ the mutability of species (Darwin’s definition)    History of Evolutionary Thought  ● Age of discovery 16th­18th centuries  ○ New world and Africa explored and settled by Europeans  ■ western europe come in contact with new cultures that our complete  foreign to them  ○ Systematic collection of biological variability  ■ science was driven by collecting (exhibitions)   ● New observation needed to be fit into logical order   ○ including fossils  ● Great Chain of Being  ○ World Order  ○ Originally formulated by Aristotle  ■ God­Angels­Humans­Animals­Etc  ■ Universe is full  ● everything that is possible exists  ● earth is complete because God is perfect that he had to fill up the  earth and made no mistakes nothing else would ever be needed  ■ Continuous series of life forms  ■ Hierarchical sequence  ● complex to simple  ■ change impossible  ● Early Thinkers  ○ Main Concepts  ■ Earth is young  ■ Earth and its creatures are unchanging  ○ Bishops James Ussher 1581­1656  ■ Interpreted Genesis  ■ Earth created at 4004 BC  ● Context for Darwin  ○ Understanding that  ■ Earth is old  Physical Anthropology   Week 1 Notes    ■ Earth’s surface changes over time  ■ Plants and animals have changed over time  ○ Darwin drew inspiration from  ■ Taxonomy  ■ Geology  ■ Paleontology  ■ Demography  ■ Evolutionary biology  ● Taxonomy  ○ Classifying living organisms and identify biological relationships   ○ Wanted to present God’s plan for creation  ■ not evolutionary thinkers  ● Carolus LInnaeus 1707­1778  ○ Developed classification system for plants and animals  ■ Systema Naturae  ○ Binomial nomenclature   ■ System of using 2 names  ○ Included humans with animals  ■ Humans grouped with apes  ● Geology  ○ Reconstructing the changing surface of the earth  ■ break with traditional ideas  ■ causes questioning   ● James Hutton 1726­1797 and Charles Lyell 1797­1875  ○ Uniformitarianism  ■ Forces active in past are same forces as those active in present  ■ EArth changes by flood erosion, drought, wind, etc.  ■ “Stacking of changes = strata or layers  ● ex. Grand Canyon  ○ Principles of Geolowritten by Charles Lyell  ■ 1830­1833  ■ Earth much older than Ussher suggested  ● Paleontology  ■ means the study of past life, the study of fossils  ○ Reconstructing the history of life on earth  ○ Fossils have been found for hundred of years  ■ need to explain them  ● Georges Cuvier 1769­1832  ○ Father of zoology, paleontology, and comparative anatomy  ○ Theory of Catastrophism  ■ Each stratum of earth contained different fossils  ■ Earth’s history one of subsequent disasters resulting i extinctions and  re­populations  Physical Anthropology   Week 1 Notes    ● Demography  ○ study of populations  ■ birth rates  ■ death rates  ■ factors that influence these  ● Thomas Malthus 1766­1834  ○ Human population doubles every 25 years  ○ Food production increase only in arithmetic progression   ○ species overpopulation checked by struggle for existence   ■ keeps populations from growing at their maximum rates  ○ competition for limited resources  ● Evolutionary Biology  ○ Early attempts to explain transformation of life forms  ● Jean Baptiste Lamarck 1744­1829  ○ Theory of Transformism  ■ Organs would develop to satisfy needs of an organism  ■ Inheritance of acquired characteristics  ■ Interaction of organic forms with their environment  ■ Spontaneous generation  ○ Contributions  ■ popularized idea of evolution   


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