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The Alternative Introduction to Biological Anthropology

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-06-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


In The Alternative Introduction to Biological Anthropology, Second Edition, author Jonathan Marks presents an innovative framework for thinking about the major issues in the field with fourteen original essays designed to correlate to the core chapters in standard textbooks. Each chapter draws on and complements--but does not reconstitute (except for the sake of clarity)--the major data and ideas presented in standard texts. Marks explores such topics as how we make sense of data about our origins, where our modern ideas come from, our inability to separate natural facts from cultural facts and values as we try to understand ourselves, and the social and political aspects of science as a culturally situated mental activity.

Author Biography

Jonathan Marks is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is the author of several books, including Is Science Racist? (2017) and Why I Am Not a Scientist: Anthropology and Modern Knowledge (2009).

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. What Is Anthropology, What Is Biological Anthropology, and Should I Be Getting Science Credit for This? (On the Philosophy of Science)
What Is Anthropology?
The Subfields of Anthropology
The Anthropology of Science
The Normative View of Science: Scientific Method
The Social Matrix of Science
Relativizing Science
The Origins of Anthropology
The Origins of Physical Anthropology
Biological Anthropology Today
References and Further Reading

Chapter 2. Where Did Our Scientific Ideas about Ourselves Come From? (On the History of Science)
The Beginnings of a New View of Nature
The Scientific Revolution
The Decline of Degeneration
The Anatomy of a "Pygmie"
Biblical Fallibility, or at Least Incompleteness
Cause and Effect
The Great Chain of Being
Buffon's Objection to the Nested Hierarchy
Natural Theology
Uniformitarian Geology
Adam's World
Human Evolution
References and Further Reading

Chapter 3. Can You Tell If You Are a Darwinist? (On Theories of Evolution)
Darwin's Argument
Where People Fit In
The Sacrifice
Implications for Pattern
Implications for Species
Implications for Biological History
Implications for Relating Humans to Other Animals
Phylogeny: The Core of Darwinism
Other Darwinisms
Social Darwinism
The "Synthetic Theory"
Evolution at the Molecular Level
Punctuated Equilibria
Universal Darwinism
Atheistic Darwinism
References and Further Reading

Chapter 4. Why Do I Look Like the Cable Guy, Daddy? (On Issues of Human Heredity)
The Theory of Particulate Inheritance: Mendel's Laws
Ten Non-Mendelian Laws
The Chromosome Theory
Polygenic Inheritance
Environmental Influence on Phenotypes
Unit Characters
Properties of Heterozygotes
Extra-nuclear Inheritance
The Molecular Genomic Basis of Heredity
The Alpha-Globin Gene Cluster
Meanings of the Gene and Genetics
References and Further Reading

Chapter 5. Are We Here? If So, Why? (On Issues of Microevolution)
Do Things Exist for a Reason?
Principal Abstraction: The Gene Pool
Gene Flow
Natural Selection
Genetic Drift
Sickle Cell
Why Is the Gene Pool the Way It Is?
Adaptation or Founder Effect?
Another Point Illustrated by Sickle Cell and Phenylketonuria
Sickle Cell, Tay-Sachs, and Genetic Screening
Kinship as a Biocultural Construction
Genetic History and the Diversity Project
Who Owns the Body?
References and Further Reading

Chapter 6. Building Better Monkeys, or at Least Different Ones (On Systematics)
Specific Mate Recognition Systems
Genetic Systems Producing Incompatibility
Species as Individuals
Levels and Rates of Evolution
Developmental Genetics
Allometric Growth
Systematics and Phylogeny
Classical and Cladistic Taxonomy
Limitations of the Phylogenetic Method
References and Further Reading

Chapter 7. Is That an Ape in Your Genes, or Are You Just Glad to See Me? (On the Place of Humans in the Natural Order)
Primate Classification
Problems of Uniformitarianism
Genetic and Anatomical Data
The Mammals
Our Place in Primate Systematics
The Living Apes
The Trichotomy
Cladism, Reductionism, and the Rise of the Hominins
What Does It Mean to Be 98% Genetically Chimpanzee?
References and Further Reading

Chapter 8. Apes Run Around Naked, Live in Trees, and Fling Their Poo. Do You? (On the Relevance of Apes to Understanding Humans)
What Primates Can and Can't Tell Us
Primate Fieldwork
Primates in Groups
Social Behavior and Ecology
Sexual Activity and Parenthood
Models for Human Evolution
Baboons in the Sixties, Chimps in the Nineties
Looking Elsewhere for Clues about Human Evolution
The Ape Mind
References and Further Reading

Chapter 9. Being and Becoming (On the Relevance of Humans to Understanding Humans)
Human Nature
The Most Fundamental Human Adaptation: Bipedalism
Why Be Bipedal?
The Second Fundamental Human Adaptation: The Teeth
Why Reduce the Canines?
The Third Fundamental Human Adaptation: The Brain
Why Be Big Brained?
Social and Life-History Novelties
Physiological and Sexual Novelties
What Does It Take to Make a Scenario of Human Evolution Valuable?
Cultural Evolution
References and Further Reading

Chapter 10. If History Is Humanities, and Evolution Is Science, What Is Paleoanthropology? (On the Assumptions of a Diachronic Science)
Scientific Inferences Across Time
Skeletal Biology
Sexual Dimorphism
Geographic Variation
Sources of Morphological Variation
Lumping and Splitting
Other Considerations
Rights and Responsibilities in Paleoanthropology
Kinds of Evidence
Superposition and Association
Doing the Best We Can with Lost Data
Making Sense of Human Ancestry
Classifying the Living Apes and Fossil Ancestors
References and Further Reading

Chapter 11. The Dental and the Mental (On Making Sense of the Early Diversification of the Human Lineage)
The Shadow of Piltdown Man
A Hominid Origin
Discovery of the Australopithecines
Australopithecus: Basal Bipeds
Paranthropus-The Dental Adaptation
Early Homo: The Mental Adaptation
The Beginning of Cultural Evolution
References and Further Reading

Chapter 12. What to Do When Confronted by a Neandertal (On Continuity and Discontinuity)
The Human Lineage
The Mental and Social Life of Homo erectus
Homo sapiens, the Wise Species
Neandertal Life
Anatomically Modern People
The Emergence of Art
The Political Nature of Ancestry
Testing Paleontological Models Genetically
References and Further Reading

Chapter 13. Just How Different Is Different? (On Race)
Patterns of Contemporary Human Variation
Why Do We See Races?
Race as a Biocultural Category
Asking Scientific Questions about Human Diversity
Race Is to Ethnicity as Sex Is to Gender, But Not Quite
What Is Innate?
Patterns of Human Genetic and Behavioral Variation
References and Further Reading

Chapter 14. Nature/Culture, or How Science Manages to Give Little Answers to Big Questions (On the Non-reductive Core of Anthropology)
Adaptability and the Human Condition
Folk Theories of Heredity
The State of the Species
The Anthropology of Science
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA): Who Owns the Bones?
Origin Myths, Scientific and Otherwise
Biocultural Studies, or Cyborg Anthropology
References and Further Reading


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

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