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Anthropology Notes for Exam 1 - Anthropology Notes I...

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Anthropology Notes 1/23/08 I. Scientists a. Lamarck: introduced the taxonomic distinction between vertebrates and invertebrates. His theory that the acquired characteristics of a species could be inherited by later generations was a forerunner to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, although it was eventually discredited. II. Anthropology a. study of entire panorama of human experience over time and space b. field of inquiry that studies human culture and evolutionary aspects of human biology c. subfields: biological anthro, archaeology, linguistics, cultural anthro III. Ethnography a. end product of research/book or articles about culture and life of people IV. Participant observation a. Technique; living with the people. Learn about culture. V. 3 Major Topics a. Place of humanity in nature b. Comparisons of humans with other animals c. Material record of human evolution (fossils/artifacts) d. Description and interpretation of biological variation e. Biocultural evolution f. Beyond nature vs nurture VI. Fields of Bio Anthro a. Paleoanthropology (study of the origins and predecessors of the present human species, using fossils and other remains) b. Primatology (Jane Goodall) c. Anthropological genetics d. Osteology (forensics/human skeleton) VII. Scientific Method a. Unstructured observation b. Problem felt c. Hypothesis i. Provisional explanation ii. Has testable/falsifiable predictions d. Structured observation/test predictions e. Compare predictions, observations i. Refute and return to b, rule out one possible explanation ii. Accept for now, continue to test and generalize VIII. Theory a. A general explanatory framework based on well-tested hypothesis; facts are relevant in reference to theory i. Evolutionary theory ties these disparate studies together IX. The Domain of Science a. Methodological naturalism i. Position that any observed phenomenon must be explained by reference to
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natural/mechanic causes, not supernatural ones ii. Supernatural might exist but simply cannot be assessed scientifically b. Philosophical naturalism i. Position that any observed phenomenon must be explained by reference to natural/mechanic causes and this is all that exists ii. There’s no supernaturalism (atheism) iii. Not required to do science X. Early Naturalists a. Believed world was a recent, unchanging, and divine creation b. Interested in natural things (biology, geology, astronomy, etc) c. Many were theologians d. Read Bible as text describing literal events e. “read” natural things for insight in the mind of God XI. Great Chain of Being a. God, angels, humans, animals, plants, inanimate objects, Hell b. Long dominant metaphor in Western thought c. World has purpose, youth/universe=young, fullness/creation=full, stasis/world=static, essentialism (each species represents an essential type of organism XII. Evolutionary Worldview: The Mechanism a. Natural selection i. Works by culling existing variation ii. Changes the composition of a population iii. Requires faithful means of inheritence iv.
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