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1 Adapted from

2  What does being human mean to you?  What distinguishes humans from animals?  Take a moment an think. REALLY think.

3  Anthropologists = Evolution  Psychologists = Cognitive process and personality  Sociologists = Culture

4  Very simply....  Anthropologists ask:  Where did we come from?  What are we?  Where are we going?  Read Wright excerpt


6  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.

7  Physical Anthropologists study human biological evolution  Palaeontology – study of fossils  Archaeology – study of cultural remains -- ?

8  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


10  Neanderthals  Did not evolve tool making  Survived for millions of years but eventually died out

11  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

12  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

13  Human brains got larger  Faces got smaller

14  The genetic make up of humans and primates varies by only 1-2 percent  Why are we the dominate species?

15  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

16  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

17  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

18 1) The Brain 2) The Cognitive Process (advanced reasoning, problem solving, complexity of our thinking) 3) Personality

19  The Central Core: All vertebrates  Controls basic functions (breathing, eating)  The Cerebrum: Sets us apart from other species.  Controls human senses, thoughts, language, memory


21  How we acquire, store and use knowledge

22  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

23  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

24  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.

25  Characteristics and behaviours that make us unique  It is thought that our personality is shaped by our genetics and environment (nature – nurture)

26  Animals may appear to have personality traits  This may be more the result of instinct and conditioning

27  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

28  Symbols  Something or someone that represents something else.  Symbols have a particular meaning for people

29  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)

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