Fall 2023 - ARCH 131 OL01
Human Origins (3)
Class Number: 5872
Delivery Method: Online
A non-technical survey of the primate background of humans, fossil primates, and fossil humans, and the associated evidence of cultural development. An introduction to physical anthropology. Breadth-Social Sci/Science.
We modern humans are the only surviving species in a very old evolutionary tree: a tree we share with the living apes and monkeys, but also with many extinct species. We can trace our ancestry, and the things that make us humans unique, millions of years into the past. Over this long period we evolved from small, furry apes living in the forests of Africa to large, hairless, big-brained, socially-complex humans that spread across the whole globe. Human Origins is designed to be an introduction to this human story. It includes 6 major sections:
1) an introduction to the history of the science of human origins;
2) a review of the fundamentals of natural selection and evolution;
3) an introduction to our primate cousins: their characteristics and adaptations;
4) an examination of the fossil record: from earliest primates to the emergence of modern-looking humans (along with a look at the earliest technologies);
5) a closer look at when, where, and how we fully modern humans appeared;
6) and, a look at the variability among living humans and the concept of 'race'.
NOTE: This course will be delivered entirely online. Students will access the course materials (PowerPoint lectures with audio, links to videos, Study Questions and Group Discussions) via Canvas. Students will also take the midterm and final exams via Canvas.
- Midterm 25%
- Study Questions/Group Discussions 15%
- Short Quizzes 30%
- Final Exam 30%
Available in electronic form:
Stanford, Allen and Anton. Exploring Biological Anthropology: The Essentials. Fourth edition.
REQUIRED READING NOTES:
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Department Undergraduate Notes:
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