Ch. 2 - Theory Flashcards Preview

ANTH-2410H Biological Anthropology > Ch. 2 - Theory > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ch. 2 - Theory Deck (49)
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1

Adaptation

A state of existence or a process by which an organism is or becomes better suited to its circumstances of life

2

Niche

The conditions of environment in which an organism lives, including climate, space, predator-prey relationships, mate availability, etc.

3

Morphology

Study of the size, shape, and configuration of an organism and its various parts

4

Analogous

A similarity in structure or function resulting from independent adaptation to comparable circumstances in life, rather than evolutionary descent

5

Pheromone

A chemical signal capable of causing a specific response in members of the same or closely related species

6

Epistemology

The study or theory of knowledge, including its production, validation, and application

7

Secular

Separate and apart from religious tradition or edict, worldly

8

Methodology

The study of the methods applied to research generally or within a particular discipline

9

Darwinism

Evolution resulting from natural selection acting on random variation in populations, through which more fit individuals are favoured in "the struggle for existence"; as conceived by Charles Darwin

10

A Priori

Arguing from cause to effect; deduced from prior knowledge or presumption

11

Theory

Explanatory statements or arguments related to particular sets of phenomena supported by observation or experiment

12

Phylogenetic

Relating to evolutionary histories of ancestry and descent; also phylogeny

13

Allometry

Refers to patterns of size and shape change among parts of organisms at different sizes; or among different related organisms either living or extinct

14

Contingency

Being dependent on the occurrence or existence of a prior event or thing

15

Null Hypothesis

In statistics, a proposition that there is no difference among samples, conditions, outcomes, etc., that can be disproved through experiment or observation

16

Data

Observations, measurements, facts (known or assumed) that form the basis for a conclusion; singular datum

17

Sample

A subset of a whole that represents its qualities with regard to the characteristics under study; for example, if three-quarters of a population of university students have a piercing, approximately the same proportion in a sample selected from that population should have a piercing.

18

Prevalence

In the study of disease, the proportion of a population having a condition at any given moment in time

19

Assumption

A condition or feature unverified or uncontrolled but taken to be as stated for the purpose of argument

20

Law of Superposition

Layers ("strata", sing. "stratum") within a sedimentary geological deposit are laid down from oldest to most recent, permitting assignment of relative dates to items contained in the deposit

21

Seminal

Relating to "seed"; in this context, a seminal work is one that becomes a foundation for generations of subsequent ideas and developments

22

Paradigm

A conceptual framework within which bodies of theory are developed, directing the course of future investigation

23

Stasis

A state of equilibrium characterized by the absence of change

24

Paleontology

The study of fossilized life forms

25

Immutable

"not mutable"; an idea traceable to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, stating that forms exist today as they were when created, have not changed in the past, and cannot change in the future.

26

Geocentrism

The concept that the earth is the centre of the known universe, around which all other heavenly bodies revolve, attributed to the Greek astronomer Ptolemy but known before his time

27

Essentialism

Plato's idea, based on his theory of forms, that what exists in the world and is experienced by the human senses is an imperfect representation of an underlying, perfect, and immutable ideal, or essence, knowable only by the mind

28

Great Chain of Being

Aristotle's ordered, hierarchical, and static view of the world

29

Teleology

A perspective proposing that there are end points, or "final causes," toward which natural phenomena are oriented and suggestive of a design, goal, or purpose in the world

30

Heliocentrism

The now well-established view that the planets in our solar system revolve about the sun; the Copernican model also incorporates the essential ideas of the daily rotation of the earth on a tilted axis