Physical Anthropology Study Guide, Exam 1



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Physical Anthropology Study Guide, Exam 1

This study guide is far from all-inclusive, but should give you enough to go by in order to score well if you’ve got a handle on everything listed here.

Nature of Anthropology


Know what anthropology is, how it differs from other fields of enquiry, what the “four-field approach” is about, and what the subfields of those four are. Know and understand the definition of anthropology that we discussed in class, including the meanings of its associated words (holistic, biocultural, multidisciplinary, etc.).

Understand scientific method (hypothesis versus theory, etc.) and review our discussion of how science attempts to answer questions about the world. What do scientific methods have to do with anthropology and other social sciences?

Key Terms: Theory, Hypothesis, Experiment, Fact, Replicability, Empirical Observation, Ethnology, Ethnography, Primatology, Archaeology, and Applied, Cultural, Linguistic and Biological Anthropology

Darwin and Evolutionary Thought


Understand the early world view of humanity regarding the evolution of life and species as we discussed. What were the big influences on this view? What were some of the later developments in evolutionary thought? Think about the significance of the following people: Lyell, Malthus, Cuvier, LaMarck, Ray, Wallace, Ussher, Linnaeus. Know the contributions of and theories all of these people and what framework they were working under (teleology, natural theology, etc.) Who were the biggest influences on Darwin and why? What sorts of things did he and Wallace note on their journeys that affected them?

Understand natural selection’s “steps”. What would evidence or expectations be of each of the steps (i.e. what might you expect to see or find in the natural world if a particular step were in fact true). Know some examples of natural selection in action and be able to relate each step of the process to those examples. Know the year of publishing for the original Origin of Species.

Key Terms: heritability, variation, blending, selective pressure, fitness, adaptations, taxonomies, species, KPCOFGS, catastrophism, Inheritance of Acquired Characterisitics, uniformitarianism, superposition, teleology, natural theology, stratigraphy, exponential growth

Molecular Genetics


What is DNA, where does it reside in the cell, and what are its components? How is DNA special from other macromolecules? What is protein synthesis and what is DNA’s role? What is significant about the number of possible codon arrangements and the number of amino acids? Know the differences between and steps of meiosis and mitosis.

Key Terms: Watson and Crick, crossing over, non-disjunction, mutation, meiosis, mitosis, DNA, tRNA, mRNA, ribosome, nucleus, amino acid, protein, nucleic acid, codon, complementary base pair, AGTC and U, polynucleotide chain, nucleotide, enzyme, macromolecule, semi-conservative replication, transcription, translation, gene, chromosome, centromere, autosome, homologous, daughter cell, gamete, zygote, Trisomy 21




Mendelian Genetics


Understand the significance of Mendel’s use of pea plants and what he learned from them. What were his two principles and how did he develop them? How can one graphically represent the Mendelian crosses and generate resulting offspring? Be prepared to do one or two of these Punnet Squares on the exam. What are some Mendelian traits in humans? How is a Mendelian trait different from a polygenic one? Understand the ABO blood system as we discussed in class.

Key Terms: Mendelian (monogenic) and Polygenic traits, alleles, P1, F1, F2, genotype, phenotype, Punnett Square, dominant, recessive, codominant, phenotype and genotype ratios, principle of segregation, principle of independent assortment, continuous traits, locus, antigens, agglutination, Rh factors, Rhogam, Hemolytic Disease of the Newborn, homozygous, heterozygous, hybrids, PCR, Human Genome Project, clone, dominant and recessive monogenic conditions: Tay-Sachs, Cystic Fibrosis, PKU, Albinism, Huntington’s, Neurofibromatosis, Familial Hypercholestrolemia, Achondroplasia



Population Genetics and Human Variation


What is the synthetic or modern theory of evolution? What are micro and macroevolution? How does evolution work (pay particular attention to the factors of evolution we discussed in class)? How can we measure evolution mathematically? What do polymorphisms have to do with understanding evolutionary process? Why is mtDNA significant? What is biological determinism? What is race, what does race really refer to, and what are the problems associated with determining a meaningful definition of “race”? How is the concept of overlapping normal distributions for continuous traits related to race?

Key Terms: Polymorphisms, mtDNA, mutation, drift, assortative mating, random mating, gene flow, migration, selection, Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium, evolution, allele frequency, macroevolution, microevolution, speciation, population, balanced polymorphism, heterozygotes advantage, sickle cell anemia, cline, endogamy, exogamy, lactose intolerance, polygenic traits, hypoxia, vasoconstriction and dilation, Bergmann’s and Allen’s Rule, race, rickets, malaria, melanin production, lactose intolerance, acclimatization, endemic, eugenics, vectors,


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