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Introduction to Physical Anthropology

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Chapter 1 Introduction to Physical Anthropology * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Scientific Method Data Hypothesis Theory/Law Publish Methods Empirical ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Physical Anthropology


1
Chapter 1
  • Introduction to Physical Anthropology

2
Hominids
  • Humans are hominids, belonging to the taxonomic
    family Hominidae.
  • Bipedalism, walking on two legs, is a critical
    feature of the hominids.
  • Humans are members of the Order Primates, the
    group of mammals that includes prosimians,
    monkeys and apes.

3
Early Hominid Footprints - Laetoli, Tanzania
  • The tracks to the left were made by one
    individual, while those to the right appear to
    have been formed by two individuals, the second
    stepping in the tracks of the first.

4
Species
  • A group of organisms that can interbreed to
    produce fertile offspring.

5
Evolution
  • A change in the genetic structure of a
    population.

6
Adaptation
  • An anatomical, physiological, or behavioral
    response of organisms or populations to the
    environment.

7
Evolution
  • Microevolution
  • Macroevolution

8
Culture
  • Culture is the strategy by which humans adapt to
    the natural environment.
  • Culture is learned

9
Biocultural Evolution
  • Over time, culture and biology interacted so that
    humans are said to be the result of biocultural
    evolution.

10
Culture
  • Strategies humans use to adapt to their
    environment
  • technologies
  • subsistence patterns
  • housing types
  • clothing
  • religion
  • marriage and family
  • values
  • gender roles

11
Worldview
  • General cultural orientation or perspective
    shared by members of a society.

12
Behavior
  • Anything organisms do that involves action in
    response to internal or external stimuli.
  • The response of an individual, group, or species
    to its environment.

13
What Is Anthropology?
  • The study of humankind.
  • Integrates sociology, economics, history,
    psychology, and biology.
  • Comprises four subfields
  • Cultural anthropology
  • Linguistics
  • Archaeology
  • Physical (or biological) anthropology

14
Cultural Anthropology
  • The study of all aspects of contemporary human
    behavior.
  • Ethnography
  • Traditional cultures
  • Modern/western cultures

15
Archaeology
  • Study and interpretation of material remains
    recovered from earlier cultures.
  • Information about culture comes from artifacts
    and material culture left by humans.

16
Linguistic Anthropology
  • Study of the origin of language and speech.
  • The use of language is a unique human
    characteristic.

17
Physical Anthropology
  • Study of human biology in the framework of
    evolution.
  • Subfields
  • Paleoanthropology - human evolution
  • Anthropometry - measurement of body parts
  • Primatology study of nonhuman primates
  • Osteology study of skeletons

18
Paleoanthropology
  • Paleoanthropologists excavating at the Drimolen
    site, South Africa.

19
Primate paleontology
  • The study of the primate fossil record that
    extends back to the beginning of primate
    evolution some 60 million years ago (mya).
  • Virtually every year, fossil-bearing beds in
    North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe yield new
    discoveries.
  • By studying fossil primates and comparing them
    with anatomically similar living species, primate
    paleontologists are learning a great deal about
    factors such as diet or locomotion in earlier
    forms.

20
Anthropometry
  • Anthropology student using spreading to measure
    cranial length.

21
Modern Population Studies
  • This researcher is using a treadmill test to
    assess a subjects heart rate, blood pressure,
    and oxygen consumption.

22
Modern Population Studies
  • Dr. Kathleen Galvin measures upper arm
    circumference in a young Maasai boy in Tanzania.
  • Data derived from various body measurements,
    including height and weight, were used in a
    health and nutrition study of groups of Maasai
    cattle herders.

23
Genetics and DNA
  • Genetics is the study of gene structure and
    action and the patterns of inheritance of traits
    from parent to offspring.
  • Genetic mechanisms are the foundation for
    evolutionary change.
  • DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the
    double-stranded molecule that contains the
    genetic code.
  • DNA is a main component of chromosomes.

24
Cloning
  • Cloning and sequencing methods are frequently
    used to identify genes in humans and nonhuman
    primates.
  • This graduate student identifies a genetically
    modified bacterial clone.

25
Primatology
  • The study of nonhuman primates.

26
Primatology
  • Yahaya Alamasi, a member of the senior field
    staff at Gombe National Park, Tanzania.
  • Alamasi is recording behaviors in free-ranging
    chimpanzees.

27
Osteology
  • The study of the skeleton.
  • A thorough knowledge of skeletal structure and
    function is critical to the interpretation of
    fossil material.
  • Paleopathology

28
Forensic Anthropology
  • An applied anthropological approach
  • Forensic anthropologists identify and analyze
    human remains.

29
Forensic Anthropology
  • Physical anthropologists Lorna Pierce (left) and
    Judy Suchey (center) working as forensic
    consultants.
  • The dog has just located a concealed human
    cranium during a training session.

30
Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic anthropologists at the location on
    Staten Island where all materials from the World
    Trade Center were taken for investigation after
    September 11, 2001.
  • The scientists are wearing HAZMAT (hazardous
    materials) suits for protection.

31
Human Anatomy
  • Dr. Linda Levitch teaching a human anatomy class
    at the University of North Carolina School of
    Medicine.

32
Science
  • A body of knowledge gained through observation
    and experimentation from the Latin scientia,
    meaning knowledge.
  • A hypotheses is a provisional explanation of a
    phenomenon.
  • Hypotheses require verification or falsification
    through testing.
  • Empirical means to rely on experiment or
    observation.

33
Western Science Methods
  • Analysis
  • Inductive
  • Deductive

34
Scientific Method
  • Data
  • Hypothesis
  • Theory/Law
  • Publish
  • Methods
  • Empirical observations
  • Objective
  • Subjective

35
Scientific Testing
  • The precise repetition of an experiment or
    expansion of observed data to provide
    verification.
  • The procedure by which hypotheses and theories
    are verified, modified, or discarded.

36
Physical Anthropologyand the Scientific Method
  1. State the research problem.
  2. Develop a hypothesis.
  3. Test the hypothesis through data collection and
    analysis.
  4. If the hypothesis is verified, it becomes a
    theory.

37
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38
Anthropological Perspective
  • A broad perspective that helps us understand the
    diversity of the human experience within the
    context of biological and behavioral continuity
    with other species.
  • By learning about cultures other than our own, we
    can avoid an ethnocentric view of other cultures.
  • By recognizing that we have similarities with
    other animals, we may recognize that they have a
    place in nature just as we do.

39
Ethnocentric
  • Viewing other cultures from the inherently biased
    perspective of ones own culture.
  • Ethnocentrism often results in other cultures
    being seen as inferior to ones own.

40
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41
  • For Next Week Read Chapters 2 and 3
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