Examining Evolution from the Perspective of Biological and Cultural Anthropology

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Alfred L. Kroeber once said: “Anthropology is the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities.” For centuries, anthropologists have studied various cultures in search of answers about humanity. What are other cultures like? How are other cultures different from ours? Why are they different? Anthropology originated from the Greek words Anthropos (human being), and -logia (study). In the field of Anthropology, there are four sub-fields: Biological, Cultural, Linguistic, and Archaeological. Each of these sub-fields can be beneficial to study the theory of evolution, and all of the sub-fields are important in their own respect. However, the biological and cultural fields are, perhaps, more significant than the others regarding evolution.
Evolution can be defined differently within each sub-field of anthropology. However, biological anthropology is defined as: the sub-field of anthropology that studies humans as a biological species (Park, 2008). With that said, a biological anthropologist would study evolution using things such as: genetics, fossil records, bio-diversity, primatology, or human ecology. In particular (albeit rare) cases, some anthropologists have been known to study monkeys and apes because their genes are more closely related to humans than that of any other species. According to fossil records, it has been shown that there were a bewildering number of hominid species over the last 6-7 million years (Willoughby, 2005). However, Homo sapiens is the sole hominid on the planet, and has been for about the last 25,000 years (Tattersall, 2000). This type of fossil research is beneficial to the study of evolution since it has provided tangible evidence that evolution has happened, is currently...

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