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Anth 160 Week 1 Notes

by: Amanda Notetaker

Anth 160 Week 1 Notes ANTH 160

Amanda Notetaker
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About this Document

These notes are during syllabus week, so there isn't much covered yet. She only touched on the first chapter so far in the readings that were due for 8/25
Human Life Course
Dr. Tanya M. Meuller
Class Notes
Anthro, Human, life, course, ANTH, Anthropology, 160, week, 1, one, notes




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Notetaker on Thursday August 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 160 at University of New Mexico taught by Dr. Tanya M. Meuller in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Human Life Course in Anthropology at University of New Mexico.


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Date Created: 08/25/16
Anthropology 160.001 The Human Life Course Notes Week 1 Week 1 Readings: Trivers: Chapter 1, A Scientific Theory of Organic Creation, pp. 1-18. (Learn) Trivers: Chapter 2, Natural Selection, pp. 19- 41. (Learn) 8/23 Syllabus lecture / teacher introduction Required text: Low, Bobbi S. (2000) Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press 8/25 The Naturalistic Fallacy –the confusion of what is with what ought to be  “Is” –what exists (ontology) and why it occurred (cause and effect)  “Ought” –desirability or moral value of the outcome -People have much invested in the answers to some of the questions -Certain answers may serve certain interests better than others -Refusal to accept certain answers even in the face of overwhelming evidence  If you are motivated to change a particular pattern of behavior you must first understand its causality, which requires allowing all possible explanations to be assessed with evidence. *Define the naturalistic fallacy, state why humans are so vulnerable to it, and come up with your own example. Three Basic Principles of Science  Public versus private information. Public information is more believable than privately held information.  Replicable evidence in support of a statement. Gathering independent information should yield ability to replicate study.  Generalizability of cause and effect statements to other situations in which the same cause and effect principles should be operative. (Uniformitarianism) The Goals of Science  Answer descriptive and explanatory questions Descriptive questions: What is the divorce rate among the Ache? How much do Ache share food? Explanatory (cause and effect) questions: What specific factors determine the Ache divorce rate? What determines variability in divorce rates among hunter- gatherers, people, and species? The Principle of Uniformitarianism  Leads scientists to expect that similar causes produce similar effects.  Very important in looking at cross-cultural comparisons, as well as making inferences about human evolution.  Reasonable certainty the causes and effects are similar enough Effective science requires: -A clearly framed research question -A clear hypothesis to answer the question -Clearly operationalized variables Apply operational definitions: how are you measuring what you're measuring? -Methods for measuring the variables Surveys? Interviews? Behavioral observations? -Interpretation/analysis of results -Theory behind the interpretation Theory: a set of principles regarding causal connections between variables that unites previously unconnected observations in a common framework and makes new predictions about previously unstudied relationships in a fashion that can withstand the scrutiny of empirical observation. Examples of behavioral theories: sexual selection, kin selection, sex allocation, life history, optimal foraging, reciprocal altruism, etc. Methods of Science 1. Comparative methods a. Across species, cultures, individuals, contexts within individuals 2. Experimental methods a. Much scientific control b. Can be impractical, immoral, artificial 3. Natural experimentation a. Uses naturally occurring change/variation to manipulate variables of interest, then measure outcomes. i. Example: hunter-gatherers are being settled into reservations, we can study their behaviors both before and after relocation


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