Introductory Biological Anthropology (3) The role of human biology and evolution in culture, society, and behavior.
ANTH 021 Introductory Biological Anthropology (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
"Introduction to Biological Anthropology" is designed to present to the student the basic principles and findings of human population biology. To that end, the instructors review data on biological variability among contemporary human populations and among the extensive fossils that document human evolution. Comparison between human and nonhuman animals, particularly, the surviving nonhuman primates, provides an essential "Zoological Perspective" by which we can understand the origins and evolution of humankind on this planet. The single unifying concept in biological anthropology is evolution. In this course, the student will be introduced to the mechanisms underlying evolution and their application to past and present human populations. Evolutionary biology emphasizes the similarity between closely related forms, for example, chimpanzees and humans share more traits in common than do dogs and humans, because they have a more recent common ancestor. It also underscores the diversity among individuals in a population, for example, despite being members of the same species, all humans are biologically unique. The process of evolution accounts for both the similarities and the differences within and between populations. It is therefore the theory of evolution that will organize the diverse content of this course. There are two lectures per week. In addition, there is a weekly practicum class where the student explores material presented in lectures as well as learns new information. Exercises and hands-on demonstrations help the student understand the principles and findings of biological anthropology. Brief written practicum exercises often based on team projects foster interactive learning. Grades are based on three examinations and practicum exercises. This course is one of three core-courses required of majors and minors in the Department of Anthropology. The course can be used to fulfill three credits of General Education in the Natural Sciences. Students can expect to acquire a general introduction to the University as an open community of researchers and scholars who attempt to describe accurately, and hence understand, "The Human Condition." Students in this class will therefore have the opportunity to explore their responsibilities as members of an intellectual community of free inquiry. This course offers the student the opportunity to develop intellectual relationships with faculty, graduate students and fellow classmates who share similar academic interests in biological anthropology and related fields of inquiry.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.