Paleoanthropology Case Study

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The term evolution comes from the idea that biological species, to include humans, have changed over time and have given growth to other species that can be traced as far back as the ancient Greek philosophers. Societies present day knowledge of evolution began in Europe in the late 1700s, but ideas began to shift in the late 1800s, when scientists were starting to recognize fossils as the remains of creatures that once existed on earth. Beforehand, scientists had been under the assumption that fossils were the remains of deformed individuals of existing species and were simply just “tricks of nature.” (Book, 47). Scientist George Culver felt the apparent reasoning behind fossils was due to the earth undergoing a succession of global disasters, …show more content…
Keeping an evolutionary perspective in the forefront, these individuals examine the physical form of human beings, e.g. bones, muscle and organs. Additionally, studying how it functions, allowing further survival and reproduction. Within the same field of physical anthropology, there are several other areas of focus: Paleoanthropology studies the progression of primates and hominoids from fossil or what can be resolved through comparative anatomy and studies of social behavior through our closest living relatives. Primatologists focus on the study of prosimians, monkeys and apes, to understand specific features that create diversity among the groups and features that can link them to one another. Skeletal biology’s area of concentration is the study of structurally modern humans and objectively tries to understand diseases or conditions preceding death. Forensic anthropologists encompass the study of skeletal biology to aid in the identification and analysis of more recently deceased individuals (UC Santa Cruz, …show more content…
Physical anthropologist examines the physical and biological growths of the human body and the relationship of these traits to cultural and historical influences. Paleontologists and archaeologists focus on the roots and progression of the human body, as well as the culture. Cultural anthropologist examines modern sociocultural systems throughout the world, whereas anthropological linguists concentrate on the languages among cultures. Using this specific model helps an anthropologist obtain a better understanding of humankind, which one single model could not provide. The one drawback of the multiple model approach is the possibility for disintegration due to the plethora of information, specific concentration and continually following up with all areas of anthropology (Paul Heibert,

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