Assignment 3: Be An Anthropologist
How anthropologists study change
The primary goal of this exercise is for the student to further examine evolution from the perspective of two subfields in anthropology. The all-encompassing nature of evolution will be illustrated, and students will have the opportunity to explore the holistic nature of anthropology.
Anthropologists study many different aspects of humanity in order to fully understand the diversity of the human species. One of these aspects concerns our development as a species, both physically and culturally. For the assignment, the student will first discuss and investigate evolution as viewed by physical anthropology, and then the student will investigate and discuss evolution from one other subfield – cultural, linguistic, or archaeological.
In a 4-6 page written assignment, answer the following questions.
1) Define evolution using the course materials.
2) Define physical anthropology. Discuss some of the general ways physical anthropologists investigate evolution.
3) Using the APUS Library, find at least one appropriate outside source that identifies one specific research project in which physical anthropologists are studying evolution (e.g. the Human Genome Project). Describe the research project and its significance in our understanding of evolution. Conduct original research, do not use the genome project because that example is given in class. Review this screencast or script to help you learn to locate appropriate college-level sources using the Summon search tool in our Library.
4) Choose and define a second subfield of anthropology (cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, or archaeology).
5) Discuss some of the general ways an anthropologist in this second subfield investigates evolution.
*Remember, evolution can apply to both physical and societal changes, so things like language and customs can evolve just as much as bodies and brains can.
6) Using the APUS Library, find at least one appropriate outside source that identifies one specific research project in which anthropologists in this second subfield are studying evolution. Describe the research project and its significance in our understanding of evolution. For example, an archaeologist may look at how tools have changed through time, and what has caused that change (conduct your own original research, do not use this example).
8) Discuss how the study of evolution between physical anthropology and your chosen subfield compares and contrasts.
9) Conclude by discussing and reflecting on one new piece of information you learned about evolution.