Book Notes Chapter 1Introduction to Physical Anthropology Introduction Hominidae: the taxonomic family to which humans belong; also includes other, now extinct, bipedal relatives. We are modern Homo sapiens. Hominids: colloquial term for members of the family Hominidae, which includes all bipedal homonoids back to the divergence from African great apes. Bipedal: on 2 feet; walking habitually on 2 legs. Australopithecus afarensis Found in Laetoli and other locations Anatomically similar to us. But brains only 1/3 of ours. Species: a group of organisms that can interbreed to produce fertile offspring. Members of 1 species are reproductively isolated from those of another. Physical Anthropology Also known as Biological Anthropology Scientific discipline concerned with biological and behavioral characteristics of human beings, non-human primates, and their ancestors. Primates: members of the order of mammals Primates; which includes Prosimians, monkeys, apes, and humans. Evolution: a change in the genetic structure of a population. Adaptation: an anatomical, physiological, or behavioral response of organisms or populations to the environment. Result from evolutionary change as a result of natural selection. Physical Anthropology is human biology from an evolutionary point of view. Evolution can be studied at 2 levels. Macroevolution Speciation: genetic changes over time in populations result in the appearance of another. Especially when those 2 population are isolated from eachother. Microevolution Genetic alterations within a population. Not just biological and physiological. Culture: the strategy by which humans adapt to the natural environment; the environment in which we live. Technology, Housing, Clothing, Language, Religion, Gender Roles, etc. Worldview: shaped by culture; people?s perception of the outside world. Passed from 1 generation to the next without biolgoical factors. Culture is learned. Behavior: perception, reactions, and interactions to the outer environment; learned in humans. Biocultural Evolution: evolution of biology and culture which influence one another. Makes humans unique. What is Anthropology? Anthropology: the study of human biology with accounts of culture and evolution. 3 Main Subfields Cultural (Social) Anthropology Archaeology Physical (Biological) Anthropology Also, Linguistic Anthropology is sometimes considered the 4th. Cultural Anthropology The study of all aspects of human behavior. Ethnographies: emphasize various phenomena, such as religion, ritual, myth, use of symbols, etc. Formed the basis dfor comparitive studies of numerous cultures. Urban Anthropology: the study of diverse subcultures and their interactions with 1 another in contemporary metropolitan areas. Medical Anthropology: explores the relationship between various cultural attributes and health and disease. Applied Anthropology: practical applications for use outside of the university setting. Archaeology The study of earlier cultures and lifeways by anthropologist who specialize in the scientific recovery, analysis, and interpretation of material remains of past societies. Concerned with Culture. Also excavate sites of extinct species such as dinosaurs. Paleoanthropology: prehistoric archaeology and physical anthropology. Linguistic Anthropology The study of human speech and language , including the oriin of language as well as specific languages. Relate language families to human populations. Use of language is a unique human characteristic. Human evolution makes it important to physical anthropology. Physical Anthropology The study of human biology within the framework of evolution and with an emphasis on the interaction between biology and culture. Also called Biological Anthropology Paleoanthropology: the interdisciplinary approach to the study of earlier hominids; their chronolgy, physical structure, archaeological remains, habitats, and so on. Primate Paleontology: the study of fossil primates, especially those that lived before the appearance of hominids. Compare the anatomical feature to modern humans. Human Variation Anthropology: measurement of human body parts. Osteometry: the term used when osteologists measure skeletal elements. Adaptive Significance Genetics: the study of gene structure and action and the patterns of inheritance of traits from parents to offspring. Genetic mechanisms are the foundation for evolutionary change. DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid; the double-stranded molecule that contains the genetic code. Main component of chromosomes. Primatology: the study of the biology and behavior of nonhuman primates. Prosimians, monkeys, and apes. Closest living relatives. Osteology: the study of skeletal material. Human osteology focuses on the interpretation of the skeletal remains from archaeology sites, skeletal anatomy, bone physiology, and growth and development. Some of the same techniques are used in paleoanthropology to study early hominids. May emphasize measurements of skeletal elements. Identify stature and growth patterns. Paleopathology: the branch of osteology that studies the evidence of disease and injury in human skeletal remains from archaeological sites. Forensic Anthropology: an applied anthropological approach dealing with legal matters. Work with coroners and others in identifying and analyzing human remains. Mass disasters or situations where a body is found. Anatomy is important. Bones and teeth are directly linked to the soft tissues that surround and act on them. Applications are numerous. Humans are part of a continuum. Continuum: a set of relationships in which all compnents fall along a single integrated spectrum. All life reflects a single biological continuum. Physical Anthropology and the Scientific Method Science: a body of knowledge gained through observation and experimentalism. Hypothesis: a provisional explanation of a phenomena. Hyotheses require verification or falsification through testing. Empirical: relying on expirement or observation. Scientific Method: an approach to research whereby a problem is identified, a hypothesis is stated, and that hypothesis is tested by collecting and analyzing data. Research on the topic is usually done first. Hypotheses are proposed. An expirement is designed to collect data. Data: facts from which conclusions can be drawn. Quantitatively: pertaining to measurements of quantity including size, number, and capacity. Can be tested statistically. If a hypothesis stands up to repeated testing, it can become a theory. Theory: a broad statement of scientific relationships or underlying principles that has been substantially verified through the testing of hypotheses. Not facts, tested explanations of facts. Any proposition that?s stated as absolute and/or doesn?t allow the possibility of falsification is not a scientific hypothesis. Scientific Testing: the precise repetition of an expirement or expansion of observed data to provide verification; the procedure by which hypotheses and theories are verified, modified, or discarded. Eliminates various types of bias. The Anthropological Perspective Ethnocentric: viewing other cultures from the inherently biased perspective of one?s own culture. Often results in toher?s cultures being inferior. Metabolism: the chemical processes within cells that break down nutrients and release energy for the body to use. Visual Summary
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