Anthropologists use human biological evolution to answer the question of what makes humans different from animals They use fossils, cultural remains and the study of DNA as evidence supporting the development of humanity.
Physical Anthropologists study human biological evolution Palaeontology – study of fossils Archaeology – study of cultural remains -- ?
Jacques Boucher de Crevecoeur (1788 – 1868) Found stones shaped into tools and weapons Primitive weapons less advanced than what can be created today Shows evolution
Neanderthals Did not evolve tool making Survived for millions of years but eventually died out
Charles Darwin (1809 -1882) Studied on the Galapagos islands Found that within each group of plant or animal there was variation Natural Selection: Animals and plants adapt to their environment to survive and produce similar offspring. Survival of the Fittest
It was thought that humans followed the same patterns of evolution. In 1924 Raymond Dart discovered the fossil of a child in South Africa Australopithecus Africanus Subsequent discoveries showed an evolutionary pattern
The genetic make up of humans and primates varies by only 1-2 percent Why are we the dominate species?
Features we share: Opposable thumbs 3 dimensional vision (allows us to judge distances) Our children remain dependant for a long time and require a lot of care to learn and develop
Highly developed brain which allows us to learn and think (however the human brain is more developed) Social (humans more advanced) Can be aggressive and territorial
There are many different opinions as to which factor is the most important in human evolution Bipedalism – the ability to walk upright over long distances and perform tasks while standing Ability to communicate complex and abstract ideas through language It is thought the combination of using tools, hunting in a group and communicating with language led to the rapid growth of the human brain Our ability to share/cooperate with others Developed symbols and art
1) The Brain 2) The Cognitive Process (advanced reasoning, problem solving, complexity of our thinking) 3) Personality
The Central Core: All vertebrates Controls basic functions (breathing, eating) The Cerebrum: Sets us apart from other species. Controls human senses, thoughts, language, memory
Use information to draw conclusions – uniquely human Deductive Reasoning (general to specific): Eg. All humans have brains – Sonia is a human – Therefore Sonia has a brain. Inductive Reasoning (specific to general): Eg. Most men enjoy sports – I am a man – I enjoy sports
Humans problem solve throughout the day Can use reasoning to help solve problems 1. Identify the problem 2. Develop a strategy to solve the problem (trial and error, hypothesis, rule of thumb, insight) 3. Carry out the strategy 4. Determine if the strategy worked
Complexity of our thinking Human are able to think about what others are thinking. Humans are able to think within different time frames We can remember the past and consider what might happen in the future.
Characteristics and behaviours that make us unique It is thought that our personality is shaped by our genetics and environment (nature – nurture)
Animals may appear to have personality traits This may be more the result of instinct and conditioning
Sociologists characterize a human as different from animals because of human culture. Culture: The abilities, ideas and behaviours people have acquired to become members of society O Canada Hockey Canadian flag
Symbols Something or someone that represents something else. Symbols have a particular meaning for people
Human culture (beliefs, ideas, behaviours) is constantly evolving and changing. It is through interactions in society that culture develops. To be part of the human culture we need to cooperate, have laws/rules and have a capacity for knowledge (we can learn and teach others)