Introduction to Anthropology and the Scientific Method
Anthropology is the
study of humankind and the human condition. The goal of
anthropology is to describe and explain the similarities and
differences in biology and culture of all humans in all times and all
places. Anthropology is
different from other disciplines that study humans because of its
comparative, relativistic, and scientific approaches. The discipline is
into four main subdisciplines, cultural anthropology, archaeology,
and physical anthropology, each of which may be further divided into
areas of interest. Physical anthropologists test and accept or
explanations for natural phenomena using the scientific method.
goals of science are completely separate and distinct from (rather than
to) the goals of religion. Belief in one does not necessarily
belief in the other.
Overview of Unit
Reading: Chapter One in Essentials of Physical
Anthropology, Eighth Edition. Jurmain, Nelson, Kilgor, and
Print and bring these to class:
You need not bring this to class
(although some students choose to), but as soon as possible after each
class session use your lecture notes to answer these questions :
- Before class watch or read:
- Science and scientific investigation is part of critical thinking.
I recommend you watch this provocative and informative video, Here
Be Dragons (41:10), an introduction to critical thinking
that "offers a toolbox for recognizing and understanding the dangers of
pseudoscience, and appreciation for the reality-based benefits offered
by real science."
Related links that might be of interest to you:
Footprints (includes video of formation/interpretation):
The Skeptic's Dictionary:
Look at the Scientific Method: