Demography, Health, Nutrition and Genetics in Historical Populations
Author: D. Ann Herring,Alan C. Swedlund
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Social Science
Many physical anthropologists study populations using data that come primarily from the historical record. For this volume's authors, the classic anthropological 'field' is not the glamour of an exotic locale, but the sometimes tedium of the dusty back rooms of libraries, archives and museum collections. This book tells of the way in which archival data inform anthropological questions about human biology and health. The authors present a diverse array of human biological evidence from a variety of sources including the archaeological record, medical collections, church records, contemporary health and growth data and genetic information from the descendants of historical populations. The papers demonstrate how the analysis of historical documents expands the horizons of research in human biology, extends the longitudinal analysis of microevolutionary and social processes into the present and enhances our understanding of the human condition.
This volume examines general ethical principles and controversies in the social sciences by looking specifically at the recent three-year revision process to the American Anthropological Association's code of ethics. The book's contributors were members of the task force that undertook that revision and thus have first-hand knowledge of the debates, compromises, and areas of consensus involved in shaping any organization's ethical vision. The book-reflects the broad diversity of opinion, approach, and practice within anthropology and the social sciences;-develops ethical principles that reflect core values rather than the latest ethical controversies;-crafts clear, broad statements, increasing the likelihood that the ethical code will be a meaningful part of the daily discourse of practicing anthropologists;-develops the ethical code as a living document, or a process of experience and debate, subject to future revision and amplification;-provides explanation through internet links and other resources, ensuring that the finished product be relevant and vibrant.
Author: Kenneth W. Wachter,Caleb Ellicott Finch,National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Population
Publisher: Natl Academy Pr
Category: Health & Fitness
Demographers and public health specialists have been surprised by the rapid increases in life expectancy, especially at the oldest ages, that have occurred since the early 1960s. Some scientists are calling into question the idea of a fixed upper limit for the human life span. There is new evidence about the genetic bases for both humans and other species. There are also new theories and models of the role of mutations accumulating over the life span and the possible evolutionary advantages of survival after the reproductive years. This volume deals with such diverse topics as the role of the elderly in other species and among human societies past and present, the contribution of evolutionary theory to our understanding of human longevity and intergenerational transfers, mathematical models for survival, and the potential for collecting genetic material in household surveys. It will be particularly valuable for promoting communication between the social and life sciences.
Author: Anne Charmantier,Dany Garant,Loeske E. B. Kruuk
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Although the field of quantitative genetics - the study of the genetic basis of variation in quantitative characteristics such as body size, or reproductive success - is almost 100 years old, its application to the study of evolutionary processes in wild populations has expanded greatly over the last few decades. During this time, the use of 'wild quantitative genetics' has provided insights into a range of important questions in evolutionary ecology, ranging from studies conducting research in well-established fields such as life-history theory, behavioural ecology and sexual selection, to others addressing relatively new issues such as populations' responses to climate change or the process of senescence in natural environments. Across these fields, there is increasing appreciation of the need to quantify the genetic - rather than just the phenotypic - basis and diversity of key traits, the genetic basis of the associations between traits, and the interaction between these genetic effects and the environment. This research activity has been fuelled by methodological advances in both molecular genetics and statistics, as well as by exciting results emerging from laboratory studies of evolutionary quantitative genetics, and the increasing availability of suitable long-term datasets collected in natural populations, especially in animals. Quantitative Genetics in the Wild is the first book to synthesize the current level of knowledge in this exciting and rapidly-expanding area. This comprehensive volume also offers exciting perspectives for future studies in emerging areas, including the application of quantitative genetics to plants or arthropods, unraveling the molecular basis of variation in quantitative traits, or estimating non-additive genetic variance. Since this book deals with many fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology, it should be of interest to graduate, post-graduate students, and academics from a wide array of fields such as animal behaviour, ecology, evolution, and genetics.
G. Richard Scott,Christy G. Turner II,Grant C. Townsend,María Martinón-Torres
Dental Morphology and Its Variation in Recent and Fossil Homo sapiens
Author: G. Richard Scott,Christy G. Turner II,Grant C. Townsend,María Martinón-Torres
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Category: Social Science
All humans share certain components of tooth structure, but show variation in size and morphology around this shared pattern. This book presents a worldwide synthesis of the global variation in tooth morphology in recent populations. Research has advanced on many fronts since the publication of the first edition, which has become a seminal work on the subject. This revised and updated edition introduces new ideas in dental genetics and ontogeny and summarizes major historical problems addressed by dental morphology. The detailed descriptions of 29 dental variables are fully updated with current data and include details of a new web-based application for using crown and root morphology to evaluate ancestry in forensic cases. A new chapter describes what constitutes a modern human dentition in the context of the hominin fossil record.
There has been considerable and lively debate in philosophy of biology over the decade since the first edition of this anthology appeared. Changes and additions in the new edition reflect the ways in which the subject has broadened and deepened on several fronts; more than half of the-chapters are new. In all, twenty-three selections take up fitness, function and teleology, adaptationism, units of selection, essentialism and population thinking, species, systematic philosophies, phylogenetic inference, reduction of Mendelian genetics to molecular biology, ethics and sociobiology, and cultural evolution and evolutionary epistemology. Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
With contributions from over 50 experts in the field, this book provides an overview of the latest developments in evolutionary psychology. In addition to well studied areas of investigation, it also includes chapters on the philosophical underpinnings of evolutionary psychology, comparative perspectives from other species, and more.
Thirty-five years after its initial success as a form of technologically assisted human reproduction, and five million miracle babies later, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has become a routine procedure worldwide. In Biological Relatives, Sarah Franklin explores how the normalization of IVF has changed how both technology and biology are understood. Drawing on anthropology, feminist theory, and science studies, Franklin charts the evolution of IVF from an experimental research technique into a global technological platform used for a wide variety of applications, including genetic diagnosis, livestock breeding, cloning, and stem cell research. She contends that despite its ubiquity, IVF remains a highly paradoxical technology that confirms the relative and contingent nature of biology while creating new biological relatives. Using IVF as a lens, Franklin presents a bold and lucid thesis linking technologies of gender and sex to reproductive biomedicine, contemporary bioinnovation, and the future of kinship.
Through 24 case studies from around the world, the volume provides a powerful argument for the imperative of anthropological perspectives, methods, information, and collaboration in the understanding and practice of public health.
The contributors to this book focus on the relationship between nature and society from a variety of theoretical and ethnographic perspectives. Their work draws upon recent developments in social theory, biology, ethnobiology, epistemology, sociology of science, and a wide array of ethnographic case studies -- from Amazonia, the Solomon Islands, Malaysia, the Mollucan Islands, rural comunities from Japan and north-west Europe, urban Greece, and laboratories of molecular biology and high-energy physics. The discussion is divided into three parts, emphasising the problems posed by the nature-culture dualism, some misguided attempts to respond to these problems, and potential avenues out of the current dilemmas of ecological discourse.
Darwin famously described special difficulties in explaining social evolution in insects. More than a century later, the evolution of sociality - defined broadly as cooperative group living - remains one of the most intriguing problems in biology. Providing a unique perspective on the study of social evolution, this volume synthesizes the features of animal social life across the principle taxonomic groups in which sociality has evolved. The chapters explore sociality in a range of species, from ants to primates, highlighting key natural and life history data and providing a comparative view across animal societies. In establishing a single framework for a common, trait-based approach towards social synthesis, this volume will enable graduate students and investigators new to the field to systematically compare taxonomic groups and reinvigorate comparative approaches to studying animal social evolution.
The notion of a superior ‘Germanic’ or ‘Nordic’ race was a central theme in Nazi ideology. But it was also a commonly accepted idea in the early twentieth century, an actual scientific concept originating from anthropological research on the physical characteristics of Europeans. The Scandinavian Peninsula was considered to be the historical cradle and the heartland of this ‘master race’. Measuring the Master Race investigates the role played by Scandinavian scholars in inventing this so-called superior race, and discusses how the concept stamped Norwegian physical anthropology, prehistory, national identity and the eugenics movement. It also explores the decline and scientific discrediting of these ideas in the 1930s as they came to be associated with the genetic cleansing of Nazi Germany. This is the first comprehensive study of Norwegian physical anthropology. Its findings shed new light on current political and scientific debates about race across the globe.
For ninety per cent of our history, humans have lived as 'hunters and gatherers', and for most of this time, as talking individuals. No direct evidence for the origin and evolution of language exists; we do not even know if early humans had language, either spoken or signed. Taking an anthropological perspective, Alan Barnard acknowledges this difficulty and argues that we can nevertheless infer a great deal about our linguistic past from what is around us in the present. Hunter-gatherers still inhabit much of the world, and in sufficient number to enable us to study the ways in which they speak, the many languages they use, and what they use them for. Barnard investigates the lives of hunter-gatherers by understanding them in their own terms, to create a book which will be welcomed by all those interested in the evolution of language.