Geoffrey C. Kushnick
BIO A 201
Evolution and adaptation of the human species. Evidence from fossil record and living populations of monkeys, apes, and humans. Interrelationships between human physical and cultural variation and environment; role of natural selection in shaping our evolutionary past, present, and future. Offered: AWSpS.
This course is a survey of biological anthropology. As such, you will learn about basic genetic and evolutionary processes, and how they have shaped the anatomical and behavioral adaptations of humans and their closest relatives, including living primates and fossil human ancestors. Emphases are placed on: (a) the interrelationships among human physical and cultural variation, and the environment; and, (b) how natural selection shapes our past, present, and future. You will explore these topics by attending lectures, reading, watching documentary films, and gaining hands-on experience in the laboratory.
Student learning goals
Understand how natural selection creates anatomical, behavioral, and life historical adaptations via genetic change in populations.
Know the important features and evolutionary importance of major fossil non-human primate and hominin species from around 65 million years ago to the present.
Explain to your friends and colleagues about human biological variation without reference to "race."
Understand the biocultural underpinnings of mate choice and parenting adaptations in humans.
General method of instruction
Lectures, documentary films, readings, and lab sections
Class assignments and grading
Two exams (midterm and final), five pop quizzes, and laboratory participation