Blog One: Paleoanthropological Society

For my week one Blog post I explored the Paleoanthropology Society’s website.  I picked Paleoanthropology because as humans two of the major social questions we dwell on is where we came from and what happens to us after we die. Furthermore, I think as humans we often forget that we are shaped and molded by the lives of others and that our life shapes and molds those around us. The social universe of this world has been completely absolved into social media.

Many people only think of themselves. We are a world that needs immediate gratification and that puts personal wants and desires in front of other people’s needs. We struggle at work and at home many of us trying to do it all on our own. Yet rome was not built in a day, and it certainly wasn’t built by one man. We all come from somewhere, most of us are here in america because we our ancestors were immigrants. It is for these reasons that I am intrigued and fascinated by Paleoanthropology. This field of study will help answer the big questions by examining the bones and fossils that remain, and then rebuilding them to visually show the evolutionary process that have happened in order to shape who we are now, and potentially look at what we will be in the not to distant future. It is common for people to say that we are all connected, or that we are all the same and because of this subfield of physical anthropology those words ring true.

This subfield is important because it continues to connect people all across the globe. For example, as I was exploring their website I was excited to see that their were so many fields of study happening within numerous different countries. Their news and announcements portion of the page displayed research opportunities in SE Asia and Australia and  a Zooarcheology position in Germany that focused on working with Isotopes. What this means is that this one society is covering parts of three different continents, literally making connections around the world.

In addition, Paleoanthropology helps to expand the broader Anthropological themes such as Physical Anthropology,Cultural Anthropology, Archeological Anthropology. Physical Anthropology analyzes two different societies, examining similarities and differences to ultimately explain the patterns of human behavior. Paleoanthropology provides depth by studying and giving life to fossils. Paleoanthropologist’s reconstruct the fossils/ remains to provide a visual representation that can then be used to round out the comparison. In Cultural Anthropology, Anthropologists look at how culture is learned from one society to another. Similarly, by examining fossils and bones Paleoanthropologist’s can determine what  creatures, and features are passed from one generation to the next. In addition fossils and remains can have physical markers that help to identify what type of society existed. Lastly, Archeological Anthropology is greatly affected by Paleoanthropology because Paleoanthropology helps to define what the Archeologist’s find. Paleoanthropologists help define what kind of people existed and what sort of animals coexisted with them. Once these are defined the Archeological Anthropologists can better determine what their “remains” are and what they are used for.

One thought on “Blog One: Paleoanthropological Society

  1. Your perspective on the importance of paleoanthropology as a social connecting force is interesting. The view that the world is an interrelated social construction can be attributed, in the modern lens, as deriving from Karl Marx; thus it is a political standpoint. Your conclusion of the importance evident in paleoanthropology being a social connecting force is therefore a political viewpoint, attributing to paleoanthropology a political directive. This is always interesting in a science, as a science is supposed to be objective, and thus apolitical. In social sciences, and some consider anthropology to be a social science, this creates an interesting conflict. Many of the social sciences view the world, inadvertently as a collective, from a political standpoint, and focus their research in a manner that is contingent on supporting, and having the support of, their political view. I have encountered this personally in psychology. I, too, wrote on paleoanthropology, and visited the same society’s website. To me, the society seemed apolitical, but from your view, they are inherently not. I found this dichotomy worthy of commentation.

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