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Test 1 Lecture Notes - Test One Scientific method tests...

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Test One Scientific method – tests hypotheses without lab methods Anthropology = history + science Critical inquiry – many issues in anthropology such as male vs. female (human variation) Cultural evolution is difficult for anthropologists Most anthropologists don’t believe in race “Paleolithic Revolution” – elaborate art, tools, ivory, stonework, burials North American Perspective of Anthropology Four Field Approach – helps explain human variation 1) Physical/biological anthropology 2) Archaeology 3) Social/cultural anthropology 4) Linguistics Distinctive Traits of Humans Bipedalism Language Ability to create arbitrary words and signs Structured societies Language a communicative system of sounds and words transmitting a message that elicits a response from a fellow organism not just communication – other animals gesture, call, and use body language that all involve grammar generative – the ability to create infinite sentences and words that elicit responses from other animals involves meaning – symbolic, representative, arbitrary, generative, deals with placement (i.e. we can talk about different times and places different than the present/current) not completely uniform – it can me idiosyncratic and misunderstood even by users of the same language (i.e. abbreviations or slurs Speech When did speech evolve? Several million years ago when there were shifts in the vocal box and larynx The human pharynx is larger and the tongue is rooted in it unlike other animals which allows for more flexibility with sounds between the tongue and pharynx Apes and monkeys have rudimentary pharynx; vocalize by varying shape of the mouth Brain capacity and vocal anatomy changes in place around 150,000 years BP Many behaviors thought to be spurred by language did not become apparent until about 40,000 years BP Written Language
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Potentially reduces ambiguity in signaling Many promote standardization of aspects of language May facilitate in storage of information (memory) Culture – a system of meaning and practice that is shared, learned, symbolic, integrative, adaptive, and material as well as mental Traits that Distinguish Humans Bipedalism Binocular vision – other animals also have it, but it gives us an advantage Opposable digit (the thumb) – power grip allows us to holds objects tightly and precision grip allows us to hold things delicately Dentition – 2 incisors, 1 canine, 2 premolars, and 3 molars, and parabola shaped jaws Brain capacity Tool use – only we make tools for later use or for the purpose of making other tools Social – other animals are, but we are much more social Charles Lyell Major proponent of uniformitarianism “the present is the key to the past” The past can be explained by looking at processes still occurring today Used measurable rates of deposition to estimate the age of the Mississippi Delta
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