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Anthropology 102, Week 1 Notes

by: Marianna Notetaker

Anthropology 102, Week 1 Notes Anth 102

Marianna Notetaker
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

These notes cover the beginning introduction to the class and material from quiz 1.
Intro to Physical Anthropology
Laura Gryder
Class Notes
Anthropology, Physical, Biological
25 ?




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Marianna Notetaker on Thursday September 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 102 at College of Southern Nevada taught by Laura Gryder in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Intro to Physical Anthropology in Biology/Anthropology at College of Southern Nevada.


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Date Created: 09/22/16
Unique to Humans = Biocultural Adaptations ● Bipedalism ­ More energy efficient over long distances, free hands to work with  tools and carry things, etc.  ● Loss of canines ­ goes along with fire, cooked food is softer so the size of our  canines has reduced significantly ● Bigger brain ­ complex material culture and tool use, extra calories from eating  cooked food allowed for our brains to expand. ● Hunting ­ More successful in finding foods which were higher in fat, better  calories, etc. Hunted using tools thanks to our brain capacity.  ● Speech ­ Complex communication, hand signalling, speech ● Domestication of foods ­ accidental at first, interacted with gathered foods and  reseeded and adapted the food to grow.  Linnaeus (1707­1778) ● Father of taxonomy ­ way to categorize living beings ● Botanist ● Systema Naturae ○ System reflected God’s creation ○ “God created, Linnaeus organized” ­ Before Darwin’s theory of  evolution, people assumed that all animals were the same as they had always  been, so they didn’t think about that.  Racial classifications of the 19th Century ● Classification of “race” by cranial measurements (white men at the top) ○ Race being a social construct, this classification was a way to  control and demean and dehumanize people who were not white men ● Morton 1791­1851 (The Measure of Men) Roots of Biological Anthropology ● Origins: latter half of 19th century in Europe ○ Discovery of early human­like skeletons in Germany 1856 ○ Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1959­­ Met with backlash from  religious groups and acceptance from scientific groups ● 1930s/1940s ○ Advocacy for synthesis of fossil, skeletal, genetic, behavioral, and  ecological data in an evolutionary perspective. Seeing these things and thinking  of evolution What we do now! ● What does it mean to be human? ● How did we become who we are today? ● How does our biological past influence our lives in the environments of the  present? ● What is the place of human beings in nature? Review for Exam ● What is Anthropology? ○ Define anthropology, culture, adaptation ○ Define 4 subfields ○ Define biocultural adaptation, give examples ○ What is biological anthropology?  ○ Know subfields of biological anthropology ○ Historical roots ○ Scientific Method Your Inner Fish Notes ● Different human traits can be traced to ancient ancestors. ● One of these ancestors is a fish ○ Fish are some of  the first creatures to have had bony skeletons,  backbones, etc. this connects us to fish. ○ Fish predated amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, primates,  etc. And all animals within those groups are connected to fish. ○ Nerves in human head is the same as the basic nerve structure as fish ● 19th century anatomist studied relationships between hands and legs of animals. ○ The same basic bones structure basically has been squashed and stretched and moved around to create the differing hand and arm structures of  varying animals, including humans. ○ The reason animals have this common pattern because some  time in the past, they had a common ancestor who had similar bone structure as  well.  ○ These similarities trace back to amphibians with the same bone  structure, but when you go further back to fish, they had fins. Bridging the gap  was a mystery? ○ Darwin proposed fish that could walk on land may have existed,  acting as a transition between fish and amphibians (tetrapods). He did not know  whether it would have had fins or the hand­like structure.  ● Discovery of a shoulder girdle in Pennsylvania  ○ Informative about what kind of creature it was, how long, etc. ○ Jenny Clack, Greenland ­ ichthyostega (tetrapod) fossils found,  motion compared to modern tetrapods such as salamanders.  ○ Gap between ichthyostega and fish spans millions of years, so  what came before it? And where would it be found? ○ Northern Canada holds the right kind of rock for searching for  early tetrapods, and no other geologists and paleontologists had searched it  before looking for early tetrapods. Search lasted for more than a decade. ● Northern Canada dig site ○ Present day in the Arctic, cold and freezing ○ Long ago was a floodplain with rivers, swamps, and marshes.  ○ July 2000 ­ discovery of fossil fish bones in the valley, which lead  to the discovery of the layer of rock which likely held more complete skeletons  and fossils of fish. ○ July 2004 ­ discovery of the fossil of a transitional fish, most of the  body uncovered in one piece. This creature is directly related to humans through  millions of years.  ○ Tiktaalik ­ one missing transitional creature between fish and  ichthyostega.  ● Early fish embryos and early human embryos are nearly identical ○ Points to relationship between them ○ Gill arches in both. Become gill apparatus in fish, become jaws,  middle ear, etc. in humans. ○ Humans also share some of the same structures as fish, but in  different places (like testicles? I guess? They’re inside fish, near the heart, but in  humans who have them, they’re on the outside) ● Genetic connection between fins and limbs ○ Cliff Tabin ­ investigating the development of limbs in chicken  embryos. ○ Saunders ­ Found the limb bud, and discovered that  transplantation of the tissue of the limb bud would cause more digits to grow.  ○ This designation may come from a single molecule which likely  originated in a piece of DNA ○ Studying the development of fruit flies helped uncover things  about the functions of DNA (hedgehog gene) ○ The hedgehog gene delegates the organization and order of the  fruit fly ○ Similar gene, Sonic Hedgehog, found in chickens that was active  in the limb bud. It is the gene responsible for designating the pattern of the digit.  Also responsible for the paws of mice, other animals, and human hands.  ○ Polydactyly influenced or caused by Sonic Hedgehog gene. ● Dahn ­ Skate (ancient kind of fish) embryos resemble chicken and human  embryos ○ Experiment with Sonic Hedgehog gene on skate embryo made the same kind of mutation of limbs and digits that had been found in chicken  embryos.  ○ Link genetically between human hands and fish fins.  ● Evolution ­ A change in the genetic structure of a population over time ○ Widely accepted fact ○ Thousands of experimental and natural studies ○ Single fundamental unifying force in biological studies ○ A theory ­ often not accepted because it is difficult to see the  effect or process of evolution within our lifetime (except for fruit flies, bacteria,  etc.) ● Theories ­ lots of support, have been tested, accumulated evidence.. ○ Remember, gravity is also a theory, but we accept it very well. ○ Theories are continually worked on (the scientific method) Early Thinkers ● Pre­scientific view ○ Middle Ages (500s­1500s) ■ World was fixed and unchanging ■ World was relatively young (~4000 years) ○ The great chain of being ■ Life arranged from simplest to most complex ○ Earth was complete and full, nothing added ○ World was made by god ● Scientific Revolution ○ Discovery of new world challenged fundamental views about the  planet ○ Exposed to new animals and plants ● Copernicus and Galileo ○ Copernicus  ■ Earth was not the center of the universe ○ Galileo ■ Punished by the Catholic Church for his unlawful  (correct) ideas and was put under house arrest. Church’s authority was  challenged by his ideas and thoughts.  ● Classification Schemes ○ John Ray ­ first concepts of species and genus ○ Linnaeus ­ system of classification and the basis for taxonomy ■ Scientific understanding of the relationship of one  plant or animal to another ■ Imposed order on the variation ■ Pretty good fit with evolution, despite being before  Darwin’s theory of evolution. ■ Different similarities and differences in a s  systematic way ■ Taxonomy  ● Groundwork for Darwin ○ Geology (Hutton and Lyell) ○ Paleontology (Hooke and Curvier) ○ Taxonomy (Ray and Linnaeus ○ Demography (Malthus) ○ Biology (Lamark) ○ Anatomy (St. Hilaire) ● Georges Buffon ○ Late 1700s ■ Natural, observable, uniform processes ○ Estimated earth to be 76000 years old ○ Change ­ different varieties of species adapted to local  environments ● James Hutton ○ Geology ○ Surface of earth changing over time ○ 1st to study natural forces, calculated Earth’s age in the millions of years (we now know it is 4.6 billion years old) ○ Uniformitarianism ● Georges Cuvier (Late 1770s) ○ Studied fossil anatomy, pioneer field of comparative anatomy ○ Catastrophism ­ earthquakes and volcanoes lead to extinctions  (or “the flood explains the fossils” ● Charles Lyell (1840s) ○ Confirmed Hutton’s ideas ● Hooke ○ Microscopy and fossils ○ 1st to identify cells and coin the term ○ Cell ­ Latin, small room The Ancient Earth ● Old earth acceptance ○ Must accept change in earth’s topography, as well as in the  animals, plants, and various species that inhabit it.  ● Fossils ○ Remains of plants, insects, or animals that lived in the past ○ Some are remains of animals that are no longer in existence today (dinosaurs) ○ Change MUST HAVE occurred in order to get this variation ○ Some look similar to existing animals, but have significant  differences that point to some change having happened. ● Jean­Baptiste de Lamarck (1744­1829) ○ Attempted a scientific explanation of evolution ○ Coined “biology” ○ “Inheritance of acquired characteristics” ■ New species arose due to need and use of organs ■ Environment changed, animals changed ■ Animal adapted and changed during its own  lifetime (now realized to be incorrect but close) ● The Darwinian Revolution ○ 1800s ­ Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace came up with  same theory to explain biological change ○ Galapagos Islands ­ VERY important to Darwin and his theory ○ “The Origin of Species” published with pressure from colleagues  and Wallace’s similar idea which pushed him to publish the book with his original  ideas ○ Darwin’s finches ­ finches on Galapagos islands, led to idea of  adaptive radiation Information from geology, biology, anatomy, taxonomy, and paleontology led to the acceptance of the idea of change by the scientific community in the late 1800s. How does Evolutionary change occur? ● Charles Darwin ○ First credible formulation of evolution ○ Occurs through the process of Natural Selection ■ Sister to Artificial Selection, human made  changes ○ Darwin called it “descent with modification” ● Thomas Malthus ○ Demographer ○ Made the case that populations are limited by food supply ○ Struggling for food, the competition for food allows survival of  select offspring ○ Darwin applied Malthus’ ideas to his own ● The Origin of Species ○ Observation : All organisms have the potential for explosive  population grown ○ In nature, population size is stable ■ Deduction: Must be a struggle for living to  adulthood ­­ not everyone will make it to adulthood ○ Observation: Nature is full of variation ­­ look closely and see that  there is always difference in size, shape, color, etc.  ■ Deduction: Some variations must be more helpful  than others ● Relates to Natural Selection ● Natural Selection ○ Main principles ■ Variation in traits exists in species ■ That variation can be inherited ■ Environmental pressures present challenges to  species to that not all survive to reproduce ○ Examples of evolution through natural selection ■ Insect resistance to DDT ■ Bacterial resistance to antibiotics and antibacterial  hand sanitizer ■ Peppered moth (industrial melanism) ­ factories  covered natural habitat with ash and dust, taking away their ability to hide  on the trees, so the darker moths lived and reproduced to make much  darker moths ● Response to Darwin ○ Some scholars had no immediate acceptance ○ Louis Agassiz’s work was instantly obsolete because of Darwin’s  conclusions ○ Agassiz worked against darwin and believed that the failure to  invoke a divine creator made natural selection flawed ­­ he fought hard to try to  discredit Darwin ○ Agassiz based his views on Cuvier’s theory of Catastrophism ● Science vs Creationism ○ Testable evidence VS faith ○ “Creation Science”­ not science ○ “Intelligent Design” ­ not science ○ Supreme court rules against faith based ideas ● Intelligent Design ○ William Paley’s Argument from Design ■ Classic example was that of the eye, that it was too complex to have evolved by nature ■ ID has moved on to genetics ○ Disproven by the clear flaws within the eye ■ Blind spots, etc ■ Similarities between vertebrate eyes and octopus  eyes, but with slight differences


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