Credit hours: 4
GEC categories: Natural Science: Biological Sciences
Prerequisites: Not required but students tend to do better in the course if they have had Biology 1101.
|Zip Packet||Multiple authors||Zip Publishing||bookstore only|
|Our Origins, 2nd edition or later||Clark Spencer Larsen||W.W. Norton & Company||978-0-393-93498-4|
Example Syllabus: phys_syllabus_spring_2011.rtf
Course Objectives: 1. To understand the basic facts, principles, theories and methods of modern physical anthropology including evolution by natural selection, the growth of evolutionary theory, the biological basis for life, structure of DNA, protein synthesis, mutation, cell division, principles of classification, taxonomy, adaptation, primate anatomy and behavior, hominid origins, adaptive significance of human variation and bio-cultural evolution. 2. To learn key events within physical anthropology especially pertaining to the development of evolutionary theory, the modern synthesis, the molecular revolution, and the major milestones of human evolution. 3. To acquire an appreciation for the inter-dependence of scientific and technological developments particularly as they pertain to the behavior of fossil primates, reconstructing past life-ways, refining dating techniques, exploring the human genome, and battling infectious diseases. 4. Many topics covered in this course have profound social, philosophical, and ethical implications. Significant time will be devoted to exploring how scientific discoveries such as those concerning genetics, habitat conservation, excavation and human evolution address problems and impact peoples of the contemporary world.
Course Content: This course provides students with a survey of physical (or biological) anthropology, one of the four sub-fields of anthropology. Physical anthropology provides a unique approach to the study of human biology through its bio-cultural and evolutionary perspective. We will break the course into three approximately equal parts: 1) biological basis for life: processes of evolution & introductory genetics; 2) non-human primates: evolution, conservation, behavioral and morphological adaptations of our closest living relatives; 3) human origins & modern variation: anatomical & behavioral adaptations of fossil hominids and diversity of modern humans.
Method of Presentation: PowerPoint driven lectures, in class and take home lab assignments, videos, small and large group discussions.
Method of Evaluation: ~1/4 grade based on assignments, labs, quizzes and 3/4 of grade based on 3 exams (not cumulative). All exams are a mix of multiple choice and short answer.