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ANTH 1010, week 2 notes

by: Justin Larremore

ANTH 1010, week 2 notes Anth 1010

Justin Larremore
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

Second week of notes covering mostly Evolution and worldviews
Intro to Anthropology
Jamie Kathleen Johnson
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Justin Larremore on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 1010 at University of North Texas taught by Jamie Kathleen Johnson in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Intro to Anthropology in Anthropology at University of North Texas.


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Date Created: 09/11/16
ANTH 1010 Week 2 Notes Worldview  A set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of reality that influence one’s  perceiving, thinking, knowing, and doing  People that belong to a particular culture tend to share collective ideas  about their world  Scientific models are a worldview of a kind informed by empirical  research Creation Narratives Anthropologists recognize all “creation narratives” as valid explanations of Worldviews Creation narratives are not myths Many Western creation narratives are based on sacred religious texts and/or scientific explanations Creation/Evolution Struggle The Theory of Evolution is a model that helps people understand how things have changed and will change over time It is NOT about the beginning of life or a cosmology Debating Darwin There is not a two­sided discussion, there is a continuum of explanations and arguments about creation and evolution and everything in between  Day­Age Creationists­ translate Hebrew “day” from Bible as being  thousands or millions of years  Progressive Creationists­ believe that God made the Big Bang and made  the animals but holds them in place without evolutionary change  Scientific Creationists­ literal translation of the Bible, date the Earth as  being 6,000­10,000 years old, world­wide flood, no evolution or Big Bang  Intelligent Design­ classical (Greek) empirical evidence of God­made  world, based on observations of patterns and order in nature  Theistic Evolution­the official stance of the Catholic Church, evolution  occurs with God’s direction   Materialist Evolution­ believe in only what can be seen or measured, there was no God, only scientific processes How Old is the Earth? Ussherian Chronology puts date of God’s creation according to Bible as being Sunday October 23, 4004 B.C. Big Bang circa 13.7 billion years ago How do we know what we know?  Epistemology: concerned with nature of knowledge, what defines opinion  from fact  Metaphysics: abstract ideas about the beginning, time, space, and  everything else without being based in reality  Cosmology: focused on the origin and progress of the universe  Theology: study of religion and God  Anthropology: the human experience  Axiology: the meaning of value and how to determine it The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn, 1962 Discusses how “normal science” as a collective whole functions and changes over Time Scientific Paradigms Paradigms: ways in which scientists approach their work and research Paradigms are made of theories, which are often conceptually incompatible and must be understood in their sociopolitical/historical context How does “Normal Science” work? 1. Model Drift­ new discoveries cause problems with current model 2. Model Crisis­ too many problems with old model but it is still in use  3. Model Revolution­ someone proposes a new model 4. Paradigm Shift­ as more and more research comes to light, people start to  embrace the new model This is the Kuhn Cycle from his book 3 Paradigms Explained 1. Postivist/Empirical: belief in an objective, bias­free, neutral, all­ encompassing “Truth” Used to Predict and Control factors in experiments to learn 2. Interpretivist/Subjective: the “truth” is historically situated and socially  constructed, many smaller truths Multiple Perspectives embraced 3. Critical Theory: the “truth” is determined by those in power, knowledge is not always best for the masses Knowledge must be controlled to control people Paradigm Shifts Early Anthropological Influences th th 17  and 18  Centuries Exploration With the discovery of many new tribes of “savages” all across the world, anthropology tried to explain how those people came to be the way they were John Lock­ Tabula rasa (blank slate) Theorized that the human mind, knowledge, and reason all develop from experiences Different experiences amongst various people groups yielded different cultures, ideas, and societies th 19  Century Evolutionism A progressive or unilineal view of the progression of life Societies evolve form primitive to advanced, the current state of things is always the apex and most advanced compared to previous states Social Darwinism  Applied Darwin’s naturalist ideas to humans and societies Human societies evolve from simple to more complex states Essentialism, Great Chain of Being Classification and Taxonomy Linnaeus tried to classify and relate living beings using dichotomies, dualism, and binary opposition Primary thought process was Us vs. Them, primitive vs. civilized Charles Darwin: A Brief History Father was a doctor, he was expected to follow suit Family practiced endogamous marriage (marriage w/in family), many of his children were stillborn or weak, attributed to Darwin marrying his cousin Darwin was an amateur naturalist and collected specimens especially beetles Taken aboard the HMS Beagle as a gentleman’s companion not as a naturalist Charles Darwin’s Influences Philosophical influences Adam Smith (economist)­ competition Thomas Malthus­ struggle for scarce resources Both of these men were not scientists but rather philosophers and social commentators trying to explain and understand 19  Century society Alfred Russel Wallace came up w/ Natural Selection the same time as Darwin w/out having taken a trip around the world, Darwin heard about this and published his paper first What Darwin’s Theory is not “Survival of the Fittest”­ Herbert Spencer was referring to humans not evolution and defines fittest in terms of intelligence, strength and ability It is not a theory about the origin of life Nor is it Man from Monkeys or a continuous linear map of progress What Darwin offered the Scientific Community  An elegant explanation for variety of life on the planet Theorized why organisms had variety w/in species Paradigm Shift: How do organisms change? Inheritance of acquired characteristics or “transformational evolution” Theory of Natural Selection­Wallace Theory of Natural Selection WITH Heredity­ Darwin  Darwinian Evolution as Paradigm Shift Understanding of this process continues to change as more info is gathered in the course of modern research Influenced and supported by: Mendelian genetics Wallace’s Natural Selection With Darwin’s new idea, many scientists jumped on board quickly although some did not Mendel genetics Gregor Mendel­Austrian monk, experimented with pea plants, theorized about Cellular level genes passing on traits ideas about cellular change that produce changes in observable traits Genotype and Phenotype Population Genetics Individual organisms DO NOT EVOLVE Evolution refers to change in population gene pools that change over time Processes that Affect Evolution  Things that affect variety in species   Genetic Drift: movement of populations or large scale environment change  Mutation: occurs on chromosome, mistake in DNA transcription,  rarely produces a good result  Gene Flow: mixing of genes w/in different groups  Sexual Selection: most attractive organism picked out and  produces offspring  Artificial Selection: human intervention Most creatures don’t survive long enough to reproduce, those that do,  do so for a reason Modern Understandings of Evolution Today, adaptation refers to a process of mutual adjustments between organisms And their environment Niche Construction occurs when organisms actively manipulate the environment or actively move to another Enduring consequences of modification can also modify selection pressures experienced by later generations


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