Anthropology Outlines Essay

1554 Words 7 Pages
I. Human Adaptability
Anthropology is the exploration of human diversity in time and space. Anthropology studies the whole of the human condition: past, present, and future; biology, society, language, and culture. Of particular interest is the diversity that comes through human adaptability. A. Adaptation, Variation, and Change 1. Adaptation refers to the processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses. 2. Humans use both biological and cultural means of adaptation. For example, human bodies can adapt biologically in three ways to high altitude: genetic adaptation, long-term physiological adaptation, and short-term physiological adaptation. Culturally, humans have developed
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7. Racial classification attempts to assign humans to discreet categories (purportedly) based on common ancestry. c. A biological race is a geographically isolated subdivision of a species. A species is a population whose members can interbreed to produce offspring that can live and reproduce. d. Humanity (Homo sapiens) lacks such races because human populations have not been isolated enough from one another to develop into such discreet groups. e. A race is supposed to reflect shared genetic material (inherited from a common ancestor), but early scholars instead used phenotypical traits (usually skin color) for racial classification. Phenotype refers to an organism's evident traits. However, racial classifications based on phenotype raise the problem of deciding which trait(s) are most important. f. Among the many problems of using traits for racial classification is the fact that often these traits don't go together. For example, people with dark skin may be tall or short and have hair ranging from straight to very curly. Dark-haired populations may have light or dark skin, along with various skull forms, facial features, and body sizes and shapes. The number of combinations is very large, and the amount of heredity (versus environment) contributes to such phenotypical traits is often unclear. g. A final

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