Physical Anthropology

Physical Anthropology - Physical Anthropology Notes for I...

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Physical Anthropology Notes for January 17, 2008 I. History Evolutionary Thought a. Pre-1800’s i. Nicolaus Copernicus (1514)-challenged the idea that Earth was center of universe ii. Galileo (1610)-supported the idea that universe was place of motion rather than fixity iii. Newton, Keppler and Descartes recognized the laws governing planetary motion 1. fixity of species: notion that species, once created, can never change (no additions, no deletions) 2. great-chain of being: life is arranged from simplest to most complex 3. Grand Design: world is result of God’s design 4. Earth considered to be very young a. Earth created 4,004 bc in Oct. around 4 o’clock iv. Andreas Vesalius (1543): anatomist who challenged the tradition of dogmatically following Galen (medical practitioner pertaining to gladiators) and Aristotle 1. comparative anatomy showed human were very similar to other animals 2. Bodies were immediately cremated 3. A lot of terminology based on monkeys v. Observation and Natural Theology (1600s) 1. European naturalists began to observe nature for themselves 2. Natural theology: rational search for God’s divine design 3. William Harvey-1 st to document circulation of blood in humans vi. Niels Stensen (Steno): 1666-Paleontology begun demonstrated that fossils were actually parts of once-living creatures 1. suggested that bones and teeth might actually turn to stone over time 2. also suggested rocks were formed as layers deposited on top of each other over time 3. natural organisms die and bones turn into stones vii. Carolus Linnaeus (1758): tried to classify all life on earth to reflect God’s design 1. grouped together similar animals into hierarchical categories 2. believed species were fixed and immutable 3. created binomial system (Genus Species) Family Primates-Genus Homo (humans, chimpanzees, orangutans) xi. Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffan (1774): non-biblical history of earth
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a. “internal mould” of species changed in response to changing environments b. He was the first to suggest species were not fixed entities c. The earth was probably more than 70,000 years old! xii. Thomas Malthus (Rev.)(1798): suggested against idea of continual improvement in humanity a. Looked at humans as population that behaved according natural laws b. Population size increase exponentially, while food supply doesn’t c. No point helping poor, poor produce more children xiii. James Hutton (1785): argued that the earth was transformed by imperceptibly slow processes, not continual global catastrophes a. Held that the earth was vastly old b. Recognized the “rock cycle” c. Foreshadowed Darwin’s natural selection d. Developed mechanism for evolution xiv. Georges Cuvier (1820): fossils found in Europe unlike anything alive today a. Introduced the concept of extinction b. Thought that Earth periodically underwent sudden changes that would wipe out some species (catastrophes) c. Still held fixity of species xv. Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1801): proposed a theory of evolution; Inheritance of acquired characteristics a. Emphasized the importance of relation between organism and environment b.
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