The study of the cultural, historical, biological, and linguistic behavior of people from all parts of the globe both in the past and present.
4 fields: Cultural, Linguistic, Archaeology, Biological
How is Anthropology different from other disciplines that study humans?
- It is different in its broad and holistic scope of study.
- The goal is to describe and explain similarities and differences in biology and culture of all humans and their ancestors and closest living relatives in all places & all times.
its is different in its comparative and holistic approach.
What is human biology?
The aspects of the human condition influences by benes and genetic make up.
What is culture?
Culture is the learned shared knowledge of meanings by which we interpret experience and genetic behavior. Shapes our worldview.
What is a biological approach in anthropology consist of?
- focuses on the interaction between nature and nurture, culture and environment
- our biology makes our culture possible and our culture influences the direction of our biological evolution.
Anthropologist perceive the human condition as an integrated system made of environmental, bioglogical and cultural parts that interact and affect each other.
Therefore changes to one piece affects the entire thrust of human bio cultural change.
Approaches in Anthropology
Four-field approach - integrates the study of all aspects of human behavior and culture.
Scientific approach - allows for the systematic study of natural phenomena in an attempt to explainthe world in which we live.
The Scientific Method
- 1. Make observations
- 2. Form hypothesis
- 3. Test hypothesis
- 4. Use data to evaluate hypothesis
- 5. Revise hypothesis
- 6. Publication and Replication
Hypothesis vs. Theory
Hypothesis - a provisional explanation of a phenomenon
Theory - broad statement of scientific relationships that has been substantially verified through testing of hypotheses, preferably via multiple sources/studies
Semmelweis and Childbed Fever
1840s incidences of childbed fever differed in two maternity wards 1(lower class) 2(upper class)
Used the scientific method evaluated hypothesis as false.
Then something unexpected happened a physician died of childbed fever symptoms by cutting his hand during an autopsy.
New observations of sterilization.
Archbishop James Ussher (1580-1656)
"Young Earth" created Saturday October 22, 4004 B.C. 6:30 A.M.
- George Cuvier (1769-1832)
- "creation scientist" Change can be explained by catastrophic events.
Ex. Noah's flood explained extinct animals
Comte de Buffon (1707-1788)
Geoffory Saint-Hilaire (1772-1844)
Buffon - Observed that animals change in response to new environments.
- Saint-Hilaire -engaged in debate w/ Cuvier
- Identified fossil skeletons
Jean-Baptist Lamarck (1744-1829)
inheritance of acquired characteristics
Carl Linnacus (1707-78)
- Linnaean binomial taxonomy still used today
- a systematic attempt to catalog all of God's creatures.
Life is changeable. Put strange fossils in a new light. Ice age organisms are now extinct.
Charles Lyell (1797-1875)
Uniformitarianism -process observed in the present also operated in the past. These processes can best explain long-term changes.
- minor process x long time = big result
- big result/minor process = long time
Jacques Boucher de Perthes (1788-1868)
- Stone implements found with the bones of extince ice age animals
- Proof that humans were apart of Old Earth
- An earlier creation no mentioned in the Bible
Darwin's argue from evoltion
argued that different levels of complexity existed in the eyes of crustaceans
There is an environmental advantage for simple light sensitivity
Accumulation of small changes over time = complex adaptations
upper British class
Medical school dropout
Sailed on the HMS Beagle
- Voyage lasted five years.
- The Galapagos Island perfect labs for studying unique selective forces scale, isolation, reduced diversity/gene pool
- Extensive collection of plants and animals
- Noticed there were several varieties of animals on different islands
Theort of Natural Selection
-Darwin's Three Postulates-
- 1. More offspring are produced than can survive
- 2. Organisms are variable in the traits that affect their survival
- 3. Traits that affect survival are inherited by offspring
Ideally by the Malthusian Principle, we want to maintain equalibrium
- (K) - represents the # of individuals that an environment can support indefinitely.
- Offspring produced in excess of K must die to bring the population back into equilibrium
How do we reach equilibrium?
- Pressures to maintain equilibrium:
Is this progress directional change towards a perfect organism?
Model assumes that the ideal environment is living longer forms basis on biological medicine.
Two complementary strands created by phosphate and sugar bind with a base.
- Thymine - Adenine
- Guanine - Cystosin
- These bases are attracted to one another.