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Anthropology Race and Variation

Anthropology Race and Variation - Anthropology(10/4 Race...

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Anthropology (10/4) Race Variation – people’s efforts to deal with human variation 1. Issues involving human variation, the environment that shape race 2. How science has influenced us on race and behavior, be able to relate and give examples of how scientists have let their values, prejudices, and politics influence their science 3. Race as a social construct – what are the implications Race: Race structures opportunity and advantage; even natural disaster reveals the workings of race Very pervasive; but don’t like to discuss it How do we associate race with people, with behavior, with how they think? 1.8 million years ago, homo erectus left Africa and spread out across the planet stopping in a few locations and populates the rest of the world Multi-Regional Hypothesis: o Views ancient roots in variation o Contradicts the out of Africa model; so incompatible that only one can be true o Moves out of Africa and settled in various regions and over time evolved into homo sapiens o Argued new features and behaviors evolved in different places (multiple events) and spread as people moved and genes flowed o Argues from fossil evidence Out of Africa Hypothesis:
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o Says variation is relatively recent and a result of adaptation to different environments and climates and to gene flow, natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, etc o locates homo sapiens in Africa between 100 and 400 million years ago (archaic version of homo sapiens) o walked out of Africa and populated rest of the world, replaced or displaced all homo erectus o argues from DNA evidence Both hypotheses address polygenic traits – traits or characteristics that are determined by one or more allele at a given location (body size, skin color, etc.) Overtime culture becomes more important to our adaptation and our success as a species than biology; culture mitigates evolution Some believe and argue that biology best explains the variations we see and our success as a species (including variations such as intelligence, fertility, cultural practices, etc.) Skin color and body shape: Approach these variations through phenotypes and genotypes Phenotype – outward/physical expression of genotype, e.g. Skin color, body shape, hair texture Genotype – genetics (or allele) expression e.g. gene or alleles that code for the outward expression, e.g. body shape, skin color Think of variation as continuous, not discrete Skin color – determined by several alleles at different locations but also greatly influenced by natural environment and the experiences of our ancestors
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