Biological Anthropology Chapter One
Biological Anthropology Chapter One ANTH 101 - 001
Popular in INTRO TO BIOLOGICAL ANTH
Popular in Biological Anthropology
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
verified elite notetaker
This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tera Notetaker on Thursday September 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 101 - 001 at Portland State University taught by Amiee Potter (P) in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see INTRO TO BIOLOGICAL ANTH in Biological Anthropology at Portland State University.
Reviews for Biological Anthropology Chapter One
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
Date Created: 09/29/16
I. What is Science? A. A process, not a result. 1. Scientific method: a) Observation of a natural phenomenon w/ some deduction about its cause b) Preliminary explanation (hypothesis) c) Experiment B. Empirical process that relies on evidence and experiment C. Has the essential property of being self-correcting; hypothesis can be resolved by examining all data, which can then be published for the scientific community to scrutinize. 1. If evidence is weak, research will be shown to be false; falsifiable. 2. Paradigm = A conceptual framework useful for understanding a body of evidence. II. The Early Thinkers A. Charles Darwin 1. Central intellectual figure in biology and biological anthropology 2. Ideas did not reach the public until his publication On the Origins of Species in 1859. 3. Scholars thought about the nature of life and humanity for hundreds of years before this; ancient Greeks are credited with the first written efforts to understand natural world. B. Aristotle 1. 4 century B.C.E, described animal and plant life of Mediterranean region. 2. Believed each living form possessed absolute fixed essence and could not be altered (immutability of species); all life arranged in hierarchical ladder (humans at top). 3. Preferred mathematical theory over experimental science (along w/ Plato) C. THE ROOTS OF MODERN SCIENCE 1. Doctrine set by church in Middle Ages; Aristotle’s Great Chain of Being in place as natural philosophy and legal code. th th 2. Renaissance (14 -16 centuries); three critical developments laid foundation for establishment of academic discipline devoted to scientific understanding of human condition. a) Scholars saw themselves as “rediscovering” knowledge of Greeks and Romans. More modern approach to science: developed strong sense of time, their own past, and the process through which the past is reconstructed. Overturned old notions of fixity and hierarchy. b) Artists raised scientific study of anatomy to new heights (Da Vinci and Vesalius). Da Vinci first true scientist in modern sense. Made representations of human body more accurate and complex. c) Coincided the first circumnavigation of the globe and European discovery and exploration of New World; first look at exotic plants and animals at same time they were trying to be more systematic and accurate in how they described natural th th world; 16 and 17 century scholars who argued for multiple origins of humanity (polygenism) as opposed to single divine origin (monogenism) were burned. Scholars varied on this opinion through to 19 century. D. LINNAEUS AND THE NATURAL SCHEME OF LIFE 1. 17 -18 centuries, naturalists became more concerned w/ developing classification schemes for naming and organizing plants and animals. Did not part with theological view of static unchanging world. We still use this system for classification called Linnaean system. 2. Minister John Ray (1627-1705) first to use terms genus and species to designate types of plants and animals. 3. Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778), created most comprehensive classification of plant world. Studied diversity of animal life. Used physical characteristics to assign plants and animals to a scheme of classification. Invented science of classifying and naming living things called taxonomy. a) Binomial nomenclature = naming system for all organisms, consisting of a genus and species label. b) Taxon = group of organisms assigned to a particular category. III. The Road to the Darwinian Revolution 18 and early 19 centuries, European natural historians made their mark on explaining nature of diversity of flora and fauna on Earth. Some directly influenced Darwin’s thinking later on. A. Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), accepted notion of biological change. Observed that animals that migrate often change in response to new environments. Claimed animals of New World were smaller and weaker than counterparts of Old World (refuted by Thomas Jefferson, 1787) B. Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), opponent of modern concept of evolutionary change. Existence of extinct creatures such as dinosaurs was a problem b/c their bones suggested evidence of past world different from present day. Advocated theory of catastrophism (theory that there have been many creations interspersed by great natural disasters). Put biblical creationist twist on explaining away fossils of dinosaurs. C. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844), anatomist and advocate of evolutionary change. Engaged in public debate w/ Cuvier after he corrected Cuvier on identification of a crocodile skeleton as a fossil species. D. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829), proposed theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics—discredited theory of evolutionary change proposing that changes that occur during the lifetime of an individual, through use or disuse, can be passed on to the next generation. Lysenkoism—Soviet-era research program that tried to apply Lamarckian thinking to agricultural production which failed. Set back Soviet biology by decades. E. THE UNIFORMITARIANS: HUTTON AND LYELL 1. James Hutton (1726-1797), spent career studying layering of rock formations. A father of modern geology. Theory of uniformitarianism = the same gradual geological process we observe today was operating in the past. 2. Charles Lyell (1797-1875), British geologist. Argued that slow gradual change was the way of the physical world and if one looked in older and older rock sediments, one would find increasingly primitive forms of life. Played key role in convincing scientific community and the public that the earth’s history could be understood only in the context of deep, ancient changes in geology. IV. The Darwinian Revolution A. Darwin a naturalist from early age; wandered English countryside looking for plants and animals to study but did not do well in school. Initial contacts w/ evolutionary theory in the form of Lamarck’s ideas of evolutionary change. B. Went to Cambridge and studied for the ministry in the Church of England. Two key events took place here: 1. John Henslow, botanist and naturalist. One of his professors; deeply influenced Darwin’s scientific thinking. 2. Read and inspired by travel and natural history accounts of German explorer and scientist Baron Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt. C. Received divinity degree in 1831; more interested in natural sciences that in ministry. D. Summer of ’31, met Captain Fitzroy of the HMS Beagle. Henslow suggested Darwin accompany them to South America and they sailed in December. E. THE GALAPAGOS 1. Two dozen islands are of recent volcanic origin. Mostly barren except for a few species of large animals: reptiles and birds. 2. Each of the islands had own variety of animals, each with distinctive variety of giant tortoise, many of which still survive. 3. Birds provided the key piece of evidence for eventual theory of evolution. (different variety of finch on each island; many different beak shapes and sizes; different colors) 4. Darwin did not immediately recognize evolutionary or scientific importance of the small differences between finches. John Gould of London discovered differences could be stored into array of species according to island. After this, Darwin began to realized importance. a) First insight into biogeography (distribution of plants and animals on Earth). Referred to process of many species emerging from one or few ancient ones as adaptive radiation; process of biological change in a species in which adaptive radiation occurs is natural selection. 5. Used what he learned from Galapagos in three ways: a) Observed that isolated oceanic islands seem to hold many species not found anywhere else. b) Isolated islands lack whole groups of animals found on mainland (i.e. The Galapagos lack any large mammals and [per Darwin] others may be taking the place of missing species such as giant tortoises and oversized iguanas) c) Distinctive plants and animals on islands tend to closely resemble relatives on mainland. Incorporated evidence from embryology (observation that embryos often resemble more primitive forms). Also observed many organisms bear vestigial organs (body parts that seem to serve no modern purpose and have, therefore, atrophied. F. REFINING THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION BY NATURAL SELECTION 1. Darwin spent years developing theory of natural selection, drawing extensively on the parallel process of artificial selection (form of breeding controlled by humans to create new strain. Select traits they wanted to enhance and only allow those individuals to breed). 2. Theory composed of two separate ideas: a) Life of earth had arisen by evolution rather than by separate creation. Proposed that all life forms descended from common ancestors. b) Natural selection: mechanism behind the evolutionary process; groundbreaking part of his theory. 3. Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) field biologist; sent letter and manuscript to Darwin. Came up with own version of the theory of evolution by natural selection and wrote for advice as to whether his idea was sound and worthy of publication. Darwin published own theory Nov. 24 , 1859 and was surprise hit and Darwin suddenly one of most famous men in the world. Darwin explained his three observations and two deductions: a) Obsv.1 All organisms have potential for explosive pop. growth that would deplete food supply b) Obsv.2 Populations are roughly stable c) Ded.1 must be struggle for existence. d) Obsv.3 Nature full of variation. Every individual is slightly different from every other indiv. in group (size, shape, color, etc) e) Ded.2 Some variations must be favored and others disfavored in process of natural selection. 4. Simple set of ideas is heart of evolutionary theory. Herbert Spencer, social theorist, coined phrase “survival of the fittest”; more about number of offspring an organism leaves in the next gen. who survive to reproductive age—fitness (reproductive success). 5. Three preconditions for natural selection to work: a) Trait in question must be inherited b) Trait in question must show variation b/t individuals. c) The filter b/t organism and its genetic makeup is the environment, which must exert some pressure in order for natural selection to act. 6. Evolution is about change in population (interbreeding group of organisms) and mutation (an alteration in the DNA, which may or may not alter the function of a cell. If it occurs in a gamete, it may be passed from one generation to the next. V. The Response to Darwin A. He simply offered a simple and effective mechanism; Scholars held evolutionary views for generations before Darwin and Wallace. B. Not immediately accepted by scholars. Church and religious people outraged and offended by the implication that there was no meaning to existence other than random sorting of traits by natural processes. C. On the Origins of Species made the work of prominent naturalist, Louis Agassiz instantly obsolete. Fought Darwin, motivated by professional jealousy and a belief that natural selection’s failure to incorporate the power of a divine creator made it flawed. Traveled to Galapagos to prove natural selection was wrong. Was chastised for futile attempt to refute natural selection. Only his death silenced the opposition. VI. Science and Creationism A. Small minority have argued against the teaching of principles of evolution. Argue for a biblical, creationist view of the origin of species and humanity. B. Creationist: A scientist who studies the origins of the known universe but believes that the universe was created 14 billion yrs ago by single supernatural force (also one who believes earth and every living thing created in 6 days, dinosaurs and other extinct animals never existed, and we are all descendants of Adam and Eve). Creationism: belief in a single creative force in the universe. C. Ongoing conflict lies in claim by fundamentalist religious groups that the creation story in Genesis is viable alternative to science as explanation for how humans came to be. D. Although Bible is important book, its contents are not testable evidence; scientific method never comes into play. Reason for separation between science and religious teaching— not lack of respect for religion but science classes are intended to teach children to think like scientists. E. Creation science—creationist attempt to refute evidence of evolution. 1. Intelligent design—creationist school of thought that proposes that natural selection cannot account for the diversity and complexity of form and function in nature.