Since this course is coming to an end I first would like to state that I found myself enjoying the content much more than I ever thought I would. Observing the human experience culturally is fascinating on it own, just the same as observing it physically is. But being able to identify pieces of it in both of these ways together is so important, and so telling. One doesn’t do complete justice to humans without the other. After each lecture I find myself feeling so glad that those to study Anthropology as a minor, and wish I had more time to complete a degree in it.
Human evolution is a constant process happening all around us everyday, adapting factors of culture and environment that are dealt to them. Humans are not only continuing to evolve biologically, but also shift in their behaviors and cultural practices as the world around them begins to change. For example technologies and the induction of the internet into most countries in recent years has significantly changed what professions are most common.
And speaking of cultural changes in the workplace, one we can examine the increased number of women choosing to work. Not only are there more women in the workplace than ever before, but the types of professions women have is starkly different from just forty years ago. With more women choosing to pursue a career and put more effort to that aspect of their lives, the average age of marriage has increased as well as the age for having children, and the number of children women choose to have. Look at America now, it’s very likely that we’ll have our very first female president!! These cultural changes are adaptations to society evolving and changing, and humans are working hard to keep up and change social structures to make them more accommodating to everyone.
Another way in which humans are continuing to evolve is under the terms of the environment. Historically we’ve been able to identify that exposure to any specific environment can affect physical features, body type, etc. We know that people who live in higher altitudes are generally shorter, and variation in skin color is due relevant to the level of vitamin d accessible to any one person based on where in the world they are living. Evolution is dependent on the climate of an environment, it allows us as humans to adapt in ways that are key for survival in that area. With the effects of global warming in recent years, and in the years to come, it will be interesting to learn and observe the ways in which our bodies will work to cope with the changes. Obviously it won’t be visible in our lifetimes, or maybe even our children’s, but eventually anthropologists will be able to observe global warming’s physical effect on humans.