Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Human Variation & Race

1. High altitudes have alternating daily extremes of climate that can start of from hot, burning days, to freezing nights. There is also results in rapid dehydration due to the strong winds and low humidity. A decrease in air pressure is also cause by high altitudes which can disturb homeostasis because of the decrease of oxygen that is being released through the vascular system. This is what causes many people to get sick and have a number of symptoms.
2. Short-Term Adaption: There is an increase in breath followed by increase heart rate. The heart rate actually doubles, even if one is simply resting. Pulse rate and blood pressure is also affected and it increases due to the low levels of oxygen.
Facultative Adaption: Once acclimatization takes place, additional red blood cells followed by capillaries are produced in order to carry more oxygen. The lungs are also impacted and their size increases.
Development Adaption: Individuals who have lived in high altitude areas such as the mountains are more likely have had the ability to adapt to the high altitudes. The populations that are more successful are those whose ancestors have lived in high altitude areas for thousands of years.
Cultural Adaption: There are cultures of people that live in high altitude areas like mentioned above. If their ancestors have lived in areas such as high mountains, that can be a cultural adaption. There are also climbers who prefer to climb in areas with high altitude for fun and an adrenaline rush.
3. I think there are many different benefits one can get by studying human variation from this perspective. There are many people who haven't been in high altitude areas and don't know how it feels like to be there. There are also individuals who live there and if they were to suddenly live in 'normal' areas, they might have the complication or struggles. This information can be used in a productive way because people would know ahead of time what to expect being in high altitude areas. For example, the climbers; I'm sure their very first time they didn't know what to expect or maybe even panicked with the decrease of oxygen. Having this information can prepare us all and inform us of the effects one will receive.

4. Personally, I don't think you can use race to understand the variation of the adaptions listed. I've always believed that race is nothing but physical appearance, that how I always viewed it. I don't think race has anything to do with connections especially on how you can adapt to high attitudes. There are cultures that live in high altitude areas but I think that's because they were born and raised in those areas. This is why the study of environmental influences on adaptions is a better way to understand human variation.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016



The way this assignment began was actually very convenient for me because it wasn't like it was planned. My cousin and I were talking and I remembered about this assignment and interrupted our conversation to inform her on my assignment. I told her to continue the conversation we were having but that I was not allowed to speak. I think this kind of took away awkwardness from the assignment because she wasn't going to come up with a random conversation and be confused herself. We then set up a timer and continued our conversation. Starting the assignment was pretty difficult because my cousin felt awkward and couldn't really conversate with me because I wasn't responding verbally. We ended up laughing a lot in the beginning but after constantly restarting, we got serious and really tried. After a while, we got the hang of it; sort of. At first I found it difficult because I'm a talker and I'm usually the one doing most of the talking but I also do use a lot of hand movements and incorporate my body language, and my cousin knows me very well so she was able to keep up with that. 

My cousin was in control of the conversation and also was the one to initiate the conversation. She had trouble with this because she didn't know what else to talk about, she kept looking for question topics; a "conversation" where I would be able to nod yes or no. She was the one to ask and I answered questions; the best way I could. I'm also very big on facial expressions and she would just burst laughing because she didn't know what I was trying to say. Unfortunately I was only able to complete this assignment with just her, so I wonder if I had the chance to work with others, if my outcome would be different. I think if I had this conversation with more than just one person, I would definitely be excluded. I say this because I have seen this personally, where there is a group of people and one person tends to be the quieter one and they really don't get included. 

If I did work with more than two people, and the three of us had different cultures, I think their culture would have more power over mine because I lack the ability to corporate my message. The attitudes the speaking culture would have toward the non-speaking would most likely be negative. I say this because of my own culture, who really knows how other cultures are. My cousin couldn't even take me serious and for a moment I thought I wasn't going to be able to successfully complete this assignment. So to be able to not conversate with a community at all, I can only imagine the negative attitude one would receive. 

 PART 2:

This was definitely, hands down the most difficult task for me. Like I mentioned in part 1, I am huge in hand gestures and facial expressions. This section, I was not able to do; I don't even remember how many times we had to stop and restart. As we started, I began cracking up. I am always smiling and laughing, and my cousin could not take me being serious seriously. Me being serious would make my cousin burst out laughing. After about 3/4 minutes of actually doing this part correctly, my cousin mentioned that she was bored and didn't want to do it. It was difficult for her to understand what I was feeling or how I felt about the conversation topic. She didn't know whether to stick to the conversation topic or move on to a new one. 

By completing this experiment, I realized that the use of our 'signs' in our language is a very big factor and important in our communication. "Signs can serve as a supportive language and can be read better than verbal language by some people. A big portion of our communication is incorporated from our body language, facial expressions, and tone. You are easily able to pick up their vibe, mood, and attitude all by just their non-speech communication. I think for this part of the assignment, the saying "actions speak louder than words" correctly fits this question. 

With this experiment, I realized that vocalized words were not enough to effectively communicate. The ability to read body language can actually help a person survive. For example, you can have a situation where someone has been kidnapped. The kidnapper can have you driving and holding a gun to your lower body without anyone seeing. Your facial expressions can show distress, fright, etc, which can result to people questioning and maybe even helping you. 

There are definitely people who have difficult reading body language. I have worked with kids, and most kids tend to fail reading body language. A situation where there might be a benefit to not reading someone's body language would be an emergency. There have been emergencies at my previous job when I worked with kids, and I had to keep my cool and continue certain routines to get the kids to safety without looking panic and worried. If they were able to read body language, I'm sure they would question what was happening and create a worse situation. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Piltdown Hoax

The Piltdown Hoax began in the early 1900s in East Sussex, England. Piltdown fossils, which included a portion of the skull, jawbone, some teeth were found in 1912 by Charles Dawson. This is known as the "Piltdown Man" and was believed by many to be the "earliest Englishmen" which leads to be the missing link between apes and human. Dawson got the help of Sir Arthur Smith Woodward, an English geologist, and a French paleontologist, and together they set out to Piltdown to search for more fossils. Within a year of working together, they discovered a canine tooth. They believed that their findings were a match to the skull and jawbone and that with the human like skill and apelike jawbone, they set to believe that they had discovered the common ancestor of apes and humans. Many years later, in 1953, the jawbone was found to be part of a modern ape, orangutan to be exact, as for the skull, the cap of it was thought to be a genuine fossil. This was the first time ever that a discovery of an ancestor or humans and apes have taken place. This was one of the oldest human fossils found in England. 

Scientists are human, therefore they are capable of making mistakes. However, they could possibly use the theories or have certain ideas that would benefit their findings or even benefit their career. Another human fault that I see being played in the scenario is excitement. Due to the excitement of the discoveries, scientist might of faked some of the findings or observations to match up their discoveries or even let the excitement make rational choices. These were the first discoveries and their findings predicted being the oldest ancestor skulls, with this excitement, the scientist might have lacked their observations and protocols. You can see the faults because the lack of experiments on the fossils; they didn't question why specific parts of the skull were apelike, followed by the jawbone and teeth, on how they were human like. 

The hoax was discovered back when scientist used a fluorine test to date the fossils in 1949. They continued to study the fossils to try and understand their meaning to science. With the measurements of the fluorine content of the fossils, they discovered that they were actually old. In 1953, there was a full investigation which led to the study of fabrication; and what they found was that the staining that were found on the burns was material that had previously been cut while being a fossil.  The jaw was found to be an orangutan while the teeth were of a chimps; which was also part of a suspicious activity because they looked like human teeth.

I don't think it is possible to remove the human factor from science to reduce the chance of error. Humans are bound to make mistakes, and many people believe that mistakes shouldn't happen or occur, however, many fail to realize that mistakes is what pushes us to think and try harder. It wouldn't make sense having something non human take part in scientific experiments, that alone is always open to making mistakes. Humans are more open to discovering new things and different theories because their findings are things that can help not only other humans, but themselves as well. Science consists of conducting research and findings and testing their evidence. Therefore, I believe that human factor should not be removed from science. 

The lesson that I took from this historical event is not always taking things at face value. There will always be people with different opinions, positive or negative, but you have to learn how to deal with it, regardless if you agree or not. Bias is something that is very big and despite their reasons for it, they will always have a motive for their thinking and believing. This leads to the scientific community, scientists must come to a positive conclusions which leads to why scientific theories must be falsifiable. The Piltdown Hoax has taught us that we cannot trust other's works, if they don't have the capacity to provide whether their observations are true or false.