Unit 1 Vocab - Anthro 101 Essay

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Lesson 1
Anthropology: The broad-scope scientific study of people from all periods of tie and in all areas of the world. Anthropology focuses on both biological and cultural characteristics and variation as well as biological and cultural evolution
Archaeology: The scientific study of the past and current cultures through the analysis of artifacts and the context in which they are found
Cultural Anthropology: The study of the learned patterns of behavior and knowledge characteristic of a society and of how they vary
Holism: the idea that any aspect of human experience is integrated, influences, and is influenced by, all other aspects of human experience
Linguistic Anthropology: The study of language in cross-cultural perspective; the origin and evolution of language
Physical Anthropology: A branch of anthropology concerned with human biology and evolution
Empirical: Received through the senses (sight, touch, smell, hearing, taste), either directly nor through extensions of the senses (such as a microscope)
Hypothesis: An informed supposition about the relationship of one variable to another
Science: A way of learning about the world by applying the principles of scientific thinking, which includes making empirical observations. Proposing hypothesis to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways; also refers to the organized body of knowledge that results from scientific study
Theory: A step in the scientific method in which a statement is generated on the basis of highly confirmed hypotheses and used to generalize about conditions not yet tested
Anthropocentricity: The belief that humans are the most important elements in the universe
Catastrophism: The idea that the earth has experienced a series of catastrophic destructions and creations and that fossil forms found in each layer of the earth are bounded by a creation and destruction event
Immutable: unchanging
Principle of Acquired Characteristics: concept, popularized by Lamarck, that traits gained during a lifetime can then be passed on to the next generation by genetic means; considered invalid today
Principle of Use and Disuse: concept popularized by Lamarck that proposes that parts of the body that are used are often strengthened and improved, whereas parts of the body that are not used become weak and ultimately may disappear
Spontaneous Generation: an old and incorrect idea that complex life forms could be spontaneously created from nonliving material
Strata: layers of sedimentary rocks
Uniformitarianism: principle that states that physical forces working today to alter the earth were also in force and working in the same way in former times
Natural Selection: differential fertility and mortality of variants within a population
Lesson 2
Creation Science: the idea that scientific evidence can be and has been gathered for creation as depicted in the Bible. Mainstream scientists, many religious holders, and the Supreme Court discount any scientific value of “creation-science” statements
Intelligent Design Theory: an essentially religious explanation of the world that assumes the existence of a supernatural force that is responsible for the great complexity of life on earth today
Irreducible Complexity: concept that there are processes and structures that are too complex to have arisen through evolutionary mechanisms but most have arise by the work of a “designer”
Blending Theory: an early and incorrect idea that the inherited characteristics of offspring are intermediate between maternal and paternal genetic characteristics
Gametes: a sex cell produced by meiosis that contains one copy of a chromosome set (23 chromosomes in humans). In a bisexual animal, the sex cell is either a sperm or an ovum.
Gemmules: a hypothetical unit assumed to act as a bearer of hereditary attributes as postulated by Charles Darwin in his theory of pangenesis
Pangenesis: an early and inaccurate idea that acquired