Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Human Variation! Last Post!

1.       In the colder climates, humans responses to the environment in many ways. Positively there is an increase in basal metabolic rate, fat insulation, and change in blood flow. More importantly, the negative effects are reactions such as hypothermia. Due to concentration of body heat in the torsos, there was a loss of fingers, toes to create a severe frostbite.

2.       Short-term adaptation: It is a stress with a short and quick response; it maintains homeostasis in an orderly immediate matter. An example would be shivering when the climate is cold.

Facultative adaptation: These are genetic traits that involve turning genes on/off to alter a phenotype in the environment, not a change in the DNA of the organism. As long as the stress is applied, the phenotype will be adjusted but can return to the normal mode when stress is released. Just as in when someone stands upside down, all the blood races to your head; when you return to right side up again, then the blood will return to all the appropriate places.

 Developmental adaptations: These traits can only change through long terms, generations at a time, an individual does not have the power to adjust. The long-term stress is applied with evolutionary forces. In warm climates, the people tend to be slimmer because of the heat they do not want to retain.

Cultural adaptations: Humans, with culture, can help to adapt to environmental stresses on occasion. Cultural adaptations include social behaviors, practices, tools, diet and more. An example is how we dress according to where we live.

3.       Human variation is very interesting; humans are all the same but cultural and environmental situations alter the way everyone acts, feel and treat one another. In order to understand how humans think, respond and act you must have a deeper understanding of where they come from. This can truly positively affect everyone.  For instance, I am moving to North Carolina next week. In order for me to understand that culture, I have to pay attention to what they eat, how they dress, and the different accent they have. I need to understand that their living is much slower than Los Angeles, what I’m used to. To understand other people, you need to put it into perspective.

4.       Different races are understood with the adaptation to variations. Cultural adaptations are the only adaptation that makes complete sense to me. It is defined to help adapt to the environmental stresses when necessary. This the social behaviors, tools, food, practices, and clothing; the understanding between how races are, becomes a happy median to how these cultures will adapt with others. It’s hard to explain human variation because we are all similar but with the exception of cultural environments, we tend to be very different amongst races. That needs to be very much understood.


  1. well done! I really enjoyed reading your post and it had a lot of interesting information. I agree with you in how understanding why people are the way they are or have certain customs is by understanding where they come from and learn more about them.

  2. You were on the right track with your great description of the cold stress and the short term adaptation to cold. You wandered after that and I'm missing the facultative, long term and cultural adaptations specifically to cold stress.

    I agree with your third section. In the fourth, you were supposed to compare the explanatory value of trying to understand different groups of people based up their race OR by using the adaptive method you explored in this post. Which is better and why? What are the limitations of trying to understand a culture solely based upon race?