Thus, ecology in the social sciences is the study of the ways in which the social structure adapts to the
quality of natural resources and to the existence of other human groups. When this study is limited to the
development and variation of cultural properties, it is called
This is a term devised by Julian Steward to account for the dynamic relationship between human society and its
environment, in which culture is viewed as the primary adaptive mechanism.
The development of a culture from simpler to more complex
forms, by a continuous process is known as
The subject may be viewed unilinearly, tracing the evolution of humankind as a whole; or it may be viewed
multilinearly, treating the evolution of each culture or society (or of given parts of a culture or society) individually.
Cultural evolution was an important concept in the emerging field of cultural anthropology during the 18th and 19th
is a term modeled after "atmosphere" and biosphere" signifying (a) the space occupied by the
totality of information and human knowledge collectively available to man and (b) the processes operating
in this space, e.g., combinatorial mating, classification, reproduction, simplification, selective decay.
The Noosphere is the part of the world of life that is created by man's thought and culture. It is distinguished from the
geosphere, the non living world, and from the biosphere, the living world.
Cultural Determinism is the conviction that the accumulated knowledge, the organized beliefs, and the
way of life prescribed by a culture (see noosphere) determines not only all other aspects of human
cognition and social behavior but also the dynamics of the culture itself.
A doctrine or theory
used to describe the natural order of the universe is called a
A cosmology is a set of beliefs about the origin of society, how the universe was created, the nature of life and death,
the relationship between people and nature.
The genetic constitution of a person, the genotype
, determines the hereditary potentials and limitations of
an individual from embryonic formation through adulthood.
An individual's genotype comprises the entire complex of genes inherited from both parents. It can be demonstrated
mathematically that sexual reproduction virtually guarantees that each individual will have a unique genotype (except
for those individuals, such as identical twins, who are derived from the same fertilized egg).
A gene is a relatively small segment
that codes for the synthesis (creation) of a specific
This protein made through the information in this gene then will play a structural or functional role in the
body. A chromosome is a larger collection of DNA that contains many genes and the support proteins needed to
control these genes.