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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laura L Newell
BIO A 100
Seattle Campus

Evolution and Human Behavior

Introduction to evolution by natural selection, examining the light it can throw on human biology and behavior in such areas as the nature of sex differences, sexual conflict, and conflict between parents and children. Does not fulfill major requirements. Offered: jointly with BIOL 108.

Class description

Evolution by natural and sexual selection and evolution, affinities to nonhuman primate behavior, sex and gender differences in mating strategies, signals of quality by potential mates, evolutionary changes in hominid biology and associated behaviors, cross-cultural differences in mating patterns and reproductive success.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

2) "Quiz" (discussion) sections are organized around small-group discussions of one or two questions posted on the WEB the week before. Short answers to the questions are to be submitted by each student by a set time prior to section. Sections are not a rehash of lecture materials, nor are they presented in a lecture format. Rather, they offer an opportuniity for students to debate and discuss their own answers and opinions, incorporating materials from lecture and readings that focus on the question(s) assigned for the week.

Recommended preparation

Recommended preparation for the course is a willingness to: 1 take part in debate and discussion; 2) take responsibility for one`s own learning; 3) be prepared to discuss the main ideas, concepts etc. from the reading and lectures; 4) know the "facts" but also be able to move beyond them to examine their interpretation and implication for the argument at hand. Rote memory of facts alone will not lead to success in the course; 5) attend quiz section regularly. If your schedule does not permit this, then you should not register for the course.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly written short answers to assigned questions (see above).

1) Two objective tests (the lowest grade of two will be dropped), 2) One final with 1/3 over the last part of the course materials, and 2/3 over the most important concepts of the entire course, 3) Short answers to weekly assigned questions, 4) Participation in discussion in quiz section.

Cumulative points determine position in previously set GP distribution.

The grade distribution is determined in advance, so that any student can track his/her GP in the course thoughout the quarter.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Laura L Newell
Date: 03/05/2009