ANTH 1001: Human Evolution

4 CreditsBiological Sciences

What does it mean to be human? This question, central to the discipline of anthropology, has provided inspiration to scientists, philosophers, and artists for many centuries. In this course, we will begin to answer this question using the scientific study of the biological and cultural evolution of the human lineage. The first half of the term will introduce you to basic concepts in evolutionary theory: natural selection, genetics, behavioral ecology, and comparative anatomy. Using these tools, we will then spend the rest of the semester reconstructing the ecology, diet, anatomy, and behavior of our early ancestors, from the first apes to walk on two legs to the modern humans that conquered the globe. Weekly readings and lectures will provide the theoretical framework for understanding the evolutionary biology of Homo sapiens; laboratory sections will give you an opportunity to apply these theories and evaluate the fossil evidence for yourself. Through this combined approach, we will tackle such important questions as: What features define the human lineage? In what ecological setting did our ancestors become bipedal? What role did global climate change play in our evolution? How did tool use and cultural evolution feedback into our biological evolution? When and where did modern humans originate and what behaviors characterized this emergence? Why were there many species of humans in the past but only one today? Why is it important for the future of humanity for the average citizen to understand the principles of evolution as applied to the human animal? Upon completion of this course, you will have a broad knowledge of the role biological anthropology plays within the discipline of anthropology. More importantly, however, you will acquire a better understanding of the biological heritage of our species and our place among other forms of life on our planet.

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B Average (3.021)Most Common: A (21%)

This total also includes data from semesters with unknown instructors.

4563 students
SNWFDCBA
  • 3.95

    /5

    Recommend
  • 4.18

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    Effort
  • 4.27

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    Understanding
  • 3.78

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    Interesting
  • 4.30

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    Activities


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