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MMW 1 10.5.07

MMW 1 10.5.07 - pile of bones used as evidence to say that...

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MMW 1 10/5/07 Friday, Week One I. Reconstructing the past a) Difficulties/problems b) Theoretical considerations 1. Uniformitarianism -Uniform – The same -Present – Uniformitarianism says only certain things in the present can be taken to compare to the past, and say that the same happened in the past. -What can we go back with? We can only go back with process/principles, we want to look for natural laws of sciences; use those to go back. I.e. gravity. Poisoned arrows doesn’t work because it is not a process 2. Search for underlying principles and “constants” -Physical science, biological; we find things that we can assume, we cannot use things that are only current 3. Presentism vs. Historicism -presentism – construct things from what we are experiencing right now
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-historicism – non-biased, “time machine” to go out, forget the present; done completely based on fossils and evidence i.e. When homo habilis first came along 2 years ago, scientists found a
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Unformatted text preview: pile of bones; used as evidence to say that homo habilis lived in the area and gathered food, said that there was a family here <- presentism view. Historic view: there wasn’t sufficient evidence c) Major types of evidence and techniques 1. Fossil evidence, artifacts, other archaeological materials-Bone, fossils, in a way they are the only direct evidence we have of a living state. -Most are teeth-Laetoli – look in the book for picture-artifact = material made by the past, such as items made by hominids; shows their mental capability-Coprolites – Fossilized feces; we can infer diet, efficiency of digestion, body size, metabolism, the environment, ecology around the animal 2. Applications of (or inferences from) relevant sciences 3. Dating techniques 4. “Middle range research” 5. Use of analogy (models) 6. Molecular data (like DNA)...
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