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QUESTION 1: Describe the question(s) and/or hypotheses that the authors are investigating in the article. The first article reviewed is “Faithful Ancestors” by Bruce Bower published in Science News Magazine. The author analyzes the hypothesis brought about by the scholars who are seeking fossil remains of A. afarensis to provide a revealing depiction of the hominid's individual characteristics. This hypothesis states that much of our sexual physiology and anatomy had already evolved in australopithecines (“Sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis revisited” 2005, 314). In other words, the author is studying a theory that claims that there were no significant physical power differences between genders in A. afarensis types of hominids as opposed to other primates such as gorillas. QUESTION 2: Briefly describe or outline the experimental design used to test the questions or hypotheses. Bower mentions the statistical analysis that were revealed 2 years ago and that indicated that A. afarensis males showed only a moderate size advantage over females, rather than the larger difference seen in gorillas.


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Anthropologists found remnants of A. afarensis, including the partial skeleton dubbed Lucy, in eastern Africa more than 30 years ago. The bones seemed to be of two size categories. Bower states that according to Owen Lovejoy and Philip L. Reno, both of Kent (Ohio) State University, who managed the aforementioned study, the size similarity implies that A. afarensis adults of both sexes favored long-term relationships, which arose as a matter of continued existence, but not morality ((“Sexual dimorphism in Australopithecus afarensis revisited” 2005, 320). QUESTION 3: Summarize the results of the experiment(s). The results of the experiments are twofold. Some scientist argue that little or no significant difference existed between A. afarensis adult male and female members. Others argue, that male Australopithecus afarensis were much stronger and bigger than females (the more traditional view that is based on comparing humans to gorillas, which are considered to be the primary chain in human evolution cycle).

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Yet, the researchers who initially discovered the bones in Africa stick up to their point of view that human physiological features were already developed in A. afarensis many years ago. QUESTION 4: Summarize the author’s final conclusions. Also include new questions that stem from the research you think could be investigated in the future. Currently the researchers are debating over the skeletons that serve as the basis for A. afarensis analysis found in Africa 30 years ago. The point is that scholars can’t distinguish whether the remnants that were discovered are former bodies of two males or a male and a female. Although it is an important matter, the author concludes his article by stating that researchers spend too much time debating over the sexes issues instead of focusing on examining each individual skeleton. The writer claims that investigators should drop their obsession with the sex of fossils and examine how individual dissimilarities in skeletal anatomy arise.

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QUESTION 1 This work is a critique of the methods and ways used in evaluating the A. afarensis findings. It is a peer-reviewed article of the first story that was discussed above. Therefore, the ideas and thoughts presented in this second work closely resemble (though do not support) the ideas outlined in the News-article. The author investigates the question of whether early male and female hominins differed in size and strength. It is noted that the traditional anthropology supports such notion, yet the findings of the two skeletons in African region some 30 years ago challenge this traditional theory. QUESTION 2 The author illustrates or rather critiques the methods of testing the hypothesis. Reno and his colleagues (2003, 9404), writer argues, focus on the AL 333 sample of A. afarensis because it represents a geologically simultaneous death assemblage from a single stratum in a single locality.

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Even though the article illustrates that the analysis of Reno et al. is in many ways revolutionary, and an assessment of it underscores several methodological issues in the analysis and interpretation of discrepancy in the fossil record, the writer find a number of discrepancies or fallacies in the research design used. QUESTION 3 The main point of the research is to show that A. afarensis exhibited a human-like level of sexual size dimorphism. The results of the experiments, according to the author, may be referred to as very questionable because a number of conventional approaches are not followed and the results, are thus tainted. QUESTION 4 The author, based on thorough critique of the methods used to test and prove the hypothesis that A. afarenis physiology closely resembled that of a modern human, discards the ides presented in the above article on “Faithful Ancestors”. The writer states that while our understanding of social behavior in A. afarensis remains weak, it is unlikely that its reproductive strategies were identical to that of any modern person.

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