The idea of “reverse/backward evolution” is almost casually mentioned in the documentary. Based on what you know about the process of evolution, is such terminology valid? How do the scientists explain their use of the term? In reference to Question 1, why might this characterization be problematic beyond the scientific discussion?

Video: The Family that Walks on All Fours (52 mins).

Go To: YouTube > Search: PBS Nova: Family That Walks on All Fours

This is the link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsgEu9sNlq0

Note, there is a slightly longer BBC version of this film.

In this week’s lecture, we focused on the development of Hominins. Of the traits discussed, perhaps none is so significant as the development of bipedalism. In this film we learn about a family of human “quadrupeds”, who were touted by a Turkish scientist as evidence of “backwards evolution”. Keep the following questions in mind while watching the video. Answer each question as fully as you can; answer freely, this is your opportunity to explore the class material; you are not graded on specific content, merely on addressing the question. Pleas upload a pdf., Word file, or answer directly in the space provided. No additional research is required.

1. As Anthropologists, we are often studying living peoples. Are there ethical concerns with treating people as subjects?

2. The idea of “reverse/backward evolution” is almost casually mentioned in the documentary. Based on what you know about the process of evolution, is such terminology valid? How do the scientists explain their use of the term? In reference to Question 1, why might this characterization be problematic beyond the scientific discussion?

3. Members of this family walk on all four limbs, but do you think they serve as a good comparison to our early quadrupedal primate ancestors? Consider other skeletal characteristics.

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