BAA Lectures

BAA Lectures - January 11, 2006 Thursday Lecture What is...

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January 11, 2006 Thursday Lecture What is Anthropology? = study of human beings: “anthropos” = Greek for “man” “ology”, from “logos” = Greek for “study of” A holistic science:       -     study of the whole  organism       -     no single factor explains what it means to be human Why?  Because there are a million questions to one answer. Social/Cultural Anthro: - study of all aspects of human cultural and social behavior - changeable and easily changed (blackboards to power point) as opposed to evolutionary change Linguistic Anthro: - study of human language Archaeology: - study of past life ways via  material  culture - Material  = physical manifestations of human culture and behavior ( artifacts ) Biological Anthro: - study of human biology and behavior within evolutionary framework Many kinds of biological anthropologists: - paleoanthropology (fossil history, anatomy and behavior from bones) - primatology (!) (study of primates) - forensics (use of knowledge of the body (esp skeleton) within the legal system) - genetics (lots of stuff coming out…) Humans in Nature (the big picture) - humans often viewed as apart and/or distinct from nature… (picture of palms, city in background) o Since Aristotle (382-322 BC) o Scala Naturae : hierarchy of living things 1. God at top, humans just below, all others inferior on scale We are only one species of many! - linked to nature by… o Networks of: 1. Evolution
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2. Ecology  Human’s ‘place in nature’ defined by similiarities and relatedness: - Eg: humans more similar to chimps than dogs but more similar to dogs than spiders Like all species, humans have a unique distinguishing set of traits (brain size, symbolic language,  culture) Culture modified our relationship with environment, but we are still a part of the broader ecological system Humans: part of cycle of energy of all organisms   energy derived from the sun Niche = how a species procures (gets) energy from its environment Humans: compared to other species, hu175 mans have extremely broad niche  Niche size expanded by culture Take home message: humans are both biological and cultural organisms… This class, emphasis on the biological. January 16, 2007 (Pointless) Lecture The significance of evolution and evolutionary thought 1. What is evolution? 2. History of Evolutionary Thought 3. Charles Darwin and Natural Selection 1. What is Evolution? a.
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BAA Lectures - January 11, 2006 Thursday Lecture What is...

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