We’ve all seen this image if ever at a museumAn idea that apes changed into a human beingAnd this is what we think about when we think of evolution. I want to be clear that even though There was no active process where apes said I want to evolove to a human and spontaneously change. That’s not what evolution is. Evolution is natural selction and I’m going to get to that
Alfred Russel Wallace, traveled to Amazonia in 1848. Wallace noticed many plants and animals had special features enabling them survive the conditions which they lived. These observations led Wallace to develop a theory about how species of plants and animals gradually change through a process known as 'evolution' or "natural selection". Alfred Russel Wallace, a British naturalist, birnEngland in 1823. In 1848 he made an expedition to the Amazon River. During his exploration on plants and animals of the Amazon, he distinguished that some animals had camouflage to help them hide from predators, and some birds had specially shaped bills to let them crack open nuts and extract nectar from plants. Some plants had clever defenses to help fight attacks by insects. These observations led Wallace to develop a theory about how species of plants and animals gradually change through a process known as evolution or “natural selection”. This theory was developed at the same time as that of another famous English naturalist, Charles Darwin.
Intro to physical anthropology
• from the Greek word άνθρωπος = human
• The broad-scope scientific study of people
from all periods of time and in all areas of
• Anthropology focuses on both biological
and cultural characteristics and variation
as well as biological and cultural evolution
• A distinguishing feature of the discipline of
anthropology is its holistic approach to the
study of the whole human condition.
– Anthropology involves both biological and
sociocultural aspects of humanity.
– The time frame goes from the earliest
beginnings of humans to the present.
– Anthropology studies all varieties of people
wherever they may be found.
Four Fields of Anthropology
Culture: Shared, Learned, Behavior
Biological /Physical Human evolution and
Language (verbal and
Cultural change over time Artifacts
Two Dimensions of Anthropology
• Theoretical/Academic Anthropology
• Applied Anthropology
– The application of anthropological data,
perspectives, theory and methods to identify,
assess, and solve contemporary social
• What is human?
• human biology, evolution, human
adaptation, diversity, heredity, genetics,
ecology, natural selection
• the process by which populations of
organisms come to differ from their
• Our biology is the result of millions of years of
225 million years of mammalian evolution
65 million years of primate evolution
6 million years of hominid evolution
2 million years of evolution of the genus Homo
• Areas of Specialization:
Human genetics - inheritance and inherited variation
Primatology - living nonhuman primates
Human biological variation - evolutionary studies
Human growth and development
Applied Physical Anthropology
• Empirical knowledge
• Based on experiment and observation, or
based entirely on practical experience
• Perceived through the senses
• Phenomenon – observable event
• Hypothesis – educated guess/tentative
• Data collection and analysis
• Hypothesis testing - expected way for an
outcome based on observed data
• Theory – shows the relationship
(framework) that explains and interprets
– A statement based on highly confirmed
• Bodies of knowledge that make predictions
(not fortune telling)
• summarizes a hypothesis or group of
hypotheses that have been supported with
• (inferring, suggesting)
• Monocausal/Multicausal explanation
Chapter 1 – part 2
Introduction to Evolution and
VIEWS ON THE ESSENCE OF
HUMANS: NATURE AND TIME
• spontaneous generation - living organism
could arise from non-living material – immutable
• Age of Exploration early 15th century to 17th
Classification – 1700s
• Carulus Linnaeus
• binomial nomenclature
– Genus / species (Homo sapiens)
Jean Babtist Lamarck – 1744-1829
• the "inheritance of acquired
– organism acquired new
characteristics in its lifetime by
virtue of using or not using
different body parts
– Use and disuse, then pass on
– Not valid now but important b/c
species not seen as fixed and
immutable, but in a constantly
Catastrophism - Cuvier (17691832)
• Fossil record = extinction
• Theory that Earth has been affected by
sudden, short-lived, violent events that were
sometimes worldwide in scope
• Establsihed that extinction was a fact
• fossil forms found in each layer of the earth are
bounded by a creation and destruction event
Charles Lyell –
– Catasrophism is wrong because
there are gradual accumulation of
Uniformatism - Charles Lyell, James
• Catastrophism is wrong
– landscape developed over long periods of
time through a variety of slow geologic and
• natural processes operating in the past are
the same as those that can be observed
operating in the present
The ideas of Hutton and Lyell
led to an understanding of
"the rock cycle" as we know it
ALFRED RUSSEL WALLACE
• co-discoverer of “The Theory of Natural
Selection” with Charles Darwin in 1858
• proposed that evolution occurs as a result
of natural selection.
• Bodies of knowledge
– Comparative Morphology
– Fossil record
• Animals were not individually created but
had gradually evolved over time from one
a few common ancestors through the
process of natural selection
• branching evolution in which different
populations of a species become
reproductively isolated from each other by
adapting to different ecological niches and
eventually become separate species.
• To learn more about Darwinhttp://darwinonline.org.uk/
Survival of the fittest
the process of favoring or weeding out
individuals with different characteristics
from a population. Those individuals that
are well-suited for their environments will
be favored in the sense that they will pass
on their heritable attributes to the next
generation at a higher rate than individuals
not as well-suited to the environment
First Postulate: Population grows rapidly
/ resources grow slowly therefore…
2. Survival of the fittest: best traits –
individuals vary – variation effects the
ability to survive and reproduce
• VARIATION MADE BY GENE MUTATION AND
3. Variation may be heritable (offspring
resembles parents. If true the favorable
variation (trait) will spread, the
individuals that possess features that
increase the chance of surviving are
likely to pass on these features to the
2)Overproduction of offspring
3)Struggle for existence
4) Differential survival and reproduction
• Evolution is – variation made by gene
mutation and natural variation
Evolution, Theory and belief
• A theory is based on repeated
observations of a phenomenon that results
in accumulated wisdom and the ability to
However: biological phenomena
• biological systems are always changing,
albeit in minute ways.
• Theories are bodies of knowledge that
make predictions, not fortune telling
• Anthropology emphasizes
• Holism: How does everything fit into a
• Comparison: In what way are biological
organisms the same? How are they
• Biological/Physical Anthropology is
• Based on scientific inquiry: controlled tests and
• Relies on established scientific theory, of which
evolutionary models are one.
Evolution: Fact and theory
• The change in a group overtime (is a
• The process of evolution is a theory
• Evolution is a body of knowledge that is
used to make predictions that are either
supported or rejected using the scientific
Intelligent Design Theory
Creationists - life forms do not change
through time from generation to generation
Physical/Biological Anthropology Chapter One– Study Questions
• What is anthropology? What are the four subfields of
anthropology and what do they study?
• What is physical anthropology? How does physical
anthropology relate to other subfields of anthropology?
Name the other subfields of anthropology?
• What is empirical knowledge?
• What is a hypothesis? What is a theory?
• What is meant by scientific thinking? How does it differ
from religious thinking?
• What are the rules of anthropology as a science?
• What is biological evolution?
• What is classification? Who created the classification
system for all living things? How many names are used
in classification? What language are these names in?
• Who proposed the idea of “inheritance of acquired
traits?” What does this propose? Is this theory valid
• What is catastrophism? Who developed this idea?
• What is the principle of uniformatism? Who developed
• What did Darwin find on the Galapagos islands that
formed is ideas on evolution?
• What is adaptive radiation?
• Name the differences in Pre-Darwin and Post-Darwin
• What is Natural Selection? What are the three steps in
Evolution by Natural Selection (Darwin’s postulates)?
• What is meant by “survival by the fittest?”
• What is Intelligent Design Theory? *
• Give an example of evolution resulting from natural
• Why is evolution a fact and a theory? Define fact and
theory when answering this.
• What does holistic mean?