PALec14 - Human Variation Lecture 14 The Facts Humans...

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Human Variation Lecture 14
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The Facts Humans populations differ in appearance largely because of ancestral populations adaptations to various local environmental conditions ( natural selection). Genetic drift, relatively short-term phenomena such as diet and age, ( and perhaps sexual selection ) play roles as well.
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The Facts 2 These adaptations and other changes are relatively minor in regards to our larger evolutionary history. “Racial” traits have nothing to do with relative intelligence or inherent “biological worth.”
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Terminology - Review Subspecies - Local populations that share part of the geographic range of a subspecies and can be differentiated from other subspecies by one or more phenotypic traits. Population - A group of (breeding) organisms identifiable with a species. Race - similar to a subspecies, when applied to human groups. Deme - A group (species) as defined by their genetic make up.
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Human Variation and “Race” Much “racial” thinking has been based on biological differences in humans such as skin color, hair color and texture, facial features, and in some cases height and general body shape. It has also been based on cultural attributes that have nothing to do with people’s genetic make up.
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Evolution of Skin Color Modern Humans (and their recent hominid ancestors) are an extremely successful species geographically. Today we occupy nearly every environment on the Earth in which it’s possible for us to live.
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This success was made possible by the complex interrelated evolutionary developments such as the rise of bipedalism , increased manual dexterity (of the hands largely), and especially (relatively) extreme intelligence . These traits (among others) allowed us to leave
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PALec14 - Human Variation Lecture 14 The Facts Humans...

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