Human Evolution week 1
Human Evolution week 1 ANTH - 18630 - 003
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nicole Notetaker on Sunday September 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH - 18630 - 003 at Kent State University taught by Dexter Zirkle in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 38 views. For similar materials see Human Evolution in ANTH at Kent State University.
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Date Created: 09/04/16
Anthropology notes Week 1 Summary of the four big questions in the book What is Anthropology? Anthropology is a scientific discipline that was developed out of human curiosity. (I.e. curiosity about cultures differing form one’s own) Anthropologie’s main focus is studying the progression of “humankind” through the millennia. Being a fairly broad topic, it has 4 “subsections” - Archaeology - Cultural Anthropology - Linguistic anthropology - Physical anthropology (See definitions below) and is most widely studied in “non-western” countries. What sets Anthropology apart from other disciplines is that it acknowledges the “diversity of humankind” and “emphasizes a broad comparative approach” What is Physical Anthropology? The books definition is “The study of human biological evolution and human biocultural variation” (pg 7) and the two reasons for this are 1. Humans all stem from a hominin ancestry, whose building blocks have separated humans from other animals. In other words the nature aspect of the nature vs nurture argument 2. Humans are also shaped by our own personal ailments and strength. For example on is affected by of course their individual parents DNA in the way that it might make one look a certain way or make the difference between having diabetes and being able to process sugar normally. One is also affected by the upbringing that parents or grandparents or guardians will give. (The nurture aspect of the nature vs nurture argument) What makes us humans different from other animals? There are six major differences between human beings and other animals; those being 1. Bipedalism; or the ability to walk on two feet. 2. The loss of nonhoning teeth that sharpen themselves by rubbing together as the mouth opens and closes. 3. The ability to speak which is only subject to humans due to the fact that human beings possess what is called a hyoid bone. This bone acts as foundation for the tongue to lie on. 4. The streamlining of hunting, which consisted of coming up with hunting strategies and using tools to help kill or catch and animal. 5. Material culture and tool making, which is not- for example- just using a rock to crack open a nut, but using one rock to make a different rock sharper, so that it can be used as a weapon. 6. Finally the domestication of food or realizing that planting a seed and giving it sunlight and water will cause another plant to grow and then beginning to cultivate plants. How do physical anthropologists know what they know? Like any other scientist, anthropologists gather data in their respective fields that they use to test hypotheses. They then of course in turn use that data to reach conclusions that will help them form testable theories. Key terms Anatomical: “Pertaining to an organism’s physical structure” (pg 15) Anthropology: “The study of humankind, viewed from the perspectives of all people and all times” (pg 5) Arboreal: A term describing an animal that has adapted to living in trees Archaeology: “The study of prehistoric human populations through the analysis of material remains” (pg 5) Artifacts: “Material objects from past cultures” (pg 5) Biocultural approach: “The scientific study of the relationship between genetics and environment. Also known as nature vs nurture. Biological Anthropology: The study of the evolution, variation, and adaption of humans and their past and present relatives” (pg 5) Bipedalism: The ability to walk on two feet Cultural Anthropology: “The study of modern human societies through the analysis of the origins, evolution, and variation of culture” (pg 5) Culture: “Learned behavior that is transmitted from person to person” (pg 5) Data: “Evidence gathered to help answer questions, solve problems, and fill gaps in scientific knowledge” (pg 14) Empirical: “Verified through observation and experiment” (pg 14) Forensic Anthropology: “The scientific examination of skeletons in hope of identifying the people whose bodies they came from” (pg 6) Genome: “The complete set of the genetic information- chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA- of an organism or species that represents all of the inheritable traits” (pg 7) Hominin: “Humans and humanlike ancestors” (pg 7) Hypotheses: “Testable statements that potentially explain specific phenomena observed in the natural world” (pg 14) Language: “A set of written or spoken symbols that humans use to refer to things (people, places, concepts, etc.) other than themselves” (pg 5) Linguistic Anthropology: “The study of the construction, use, and form of language in human populations” (pg 5) Material Culture: The creation of material things such as tools that helped humankind expand and grow Morphology: “Physical shape and appearance” (pg 15) Nonhoning Canine: Teeth that sharpen themselves by rubbing together as the mouth opens and closes. Physical Anthropology: “The original term for biological anthropology” (pg 5) Primates: “A group of mammals in the order Primates have complex behavior, varied forms of locomotion, and a unique suite of traits, including large brains, forward facing eyes, fingernails, and reduced snouts” (pg 7) Scientific Law: “A statement of fact describing natural phenomena” (pg 15) Scientific Method: “An empirical research method in which data is gathered from observations of phenomena, hypotheses are formulated and tested, and conclusions are drawn that validate or modify the original hypotheses” (pg 14) Social Learning: “The capacity to learn from other humans, enabling the accumulation of knowledge across many generations” (pg 13) Sociolinguistics: “The science of investigating language’s social contexts” (pg 5) Terrestrial: Living beings that reside on land rather than living in the water Theory: “A set of hypotheses that have been rigorously tested and validated, leading to their establishment as a generally accepted explanation of specific phenomena” (pg 14) Clark Spencer Larsen (2015). Essentials of Physical Anthropology. W.W. Norton & Company.