An Introduction to Anthropology

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  • Topic: Gene, Genotype, Human
  • Pages : 2 (733 words )
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  • Published : March 9, 2011
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1.Anthropology can be broken down in to four major subdivisions: biological anthropology, ethnology, archaeology, and anthropological linguistics. While there is significant overlap among the divisions, each strives to answer distinct questions about our species. Biological anthropology focuses on questions concerning the differences in the human species in terms of race and other physical variations, and how these vary from geographic region to region. Ethnology addresses questions about different life styles, customs, gender relations, ethnicity, religions, etc. Archaeology is most concerned with the physical remains of past societies and populations and, therefore, looks to answer questions about the specific physical aspects of humans at various points in time, as well as their tools, housing, and means of traveling from place to place. Lastly, the linguistics subdivision searches for answers about language and its development over time as a means for communicating between both living members of society, as well as passing information from generation to generation. 2.Natural selection is based upon three underlying principles: (1) organisms produce more young than can survive, (2) the offspring compete with each other for survival, and (3) the most fit offspring tend to be the ones to survive and pass on their traits through further reproduction. A very clear example of these principles at work is the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. When a bacterial infection invades a host, it begins to actively and quickly reproduce. The introduction of an antibiotic into the host organism begins to act on the “weakest” bacteria first, killing off all but a few bacterial cells which may have genetic mutations that make them resistant to the antibiotic. Those few cells can then reproduce and give rise to a new population of bacteria, similar in all particulars to the original, “parent” generation, except that these newly selected offspring are...
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