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27 terms

Biological Anthropology Ch.1

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Observation
The Gathering of scientific information by watching a phenomenon
Deduction
A conclusion that follows logically from a set of observations.
Hypothesis
A preliminary explanation of a phenomenon. Hypothesis formation is the first step of the scientific method.
Experimentation
The testing of a hypothesis.
Data
The scientific evidence produced by an experiment or by observation, from which scientific conclusions are made.
Scientific Method
Standard scientific research procedure in which a hypothesis is stated, data are collected to test it, and the hypothesis is either supported or refuted.
Falsifiable
Able to be shown to be false.
Paradigm
A conceptual framework useful for understanding a body of evidence.
Immutability (or Fixity)
Stasis, lack of change.
Polygenism
Ancient belief that people are derived from a single creation.
Monogenism
Ancient belief that all people are derived from a single creation.
Taxonomy
The science of biological classification, invented by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus
Binomial nomenclature
Linnaen naming system for all organisms, consisting of a genus and species label.
Taxon
A group of organisms assigned to a particular category.
Catastrophism
Theory that there have been multiple creations interspersed by great natural disasters such as Noah's flood.
Theory of inheritance of acquired characteristics
Discredited theory of evolutionary change proposing that changes that occur during the lifetime of an individual, through use or disuse, can be passed on to the next generation, first put forward by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
Lysenkoism
Soviet-era research program that tried to apply Lamarckian thinking to the agricultural production.
Uniformitarianism
Theory that the same gradual geological process we observe today was operating in the past.
Biogeography
The distribution of animals and plants on the Earth
Adaptive Radiation
The diversification of one founding species into multiple species and niches.
Natural Selection
Differential reproductive success over multiple generations.
Vestigial Organs
Body parts that seem to serve no modern purpose and have, therefore, atrophied.
Fitness
Reproductive success.
Population
An interbreeding group of organisms.
Mutation
An alteration in the DNA, which may or may not alter the function of a cell. If it occurs in a gamete, it may be passed from one generation to the next.
Creation Science
A creationist attempt to refute the evidence of evolution.
Intelligent Design
A creationist school of thought that proposes that natural selection cannot account for the diversity and complexity of form and function seen in nature.