ANTH012_Spring_2011 - San Jos State University Social...

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San José State University Social Sciences/Anthropology ANTH012, Introduction to Human Evolution, Section 3, Spring, 2011 Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Weiss Office Location: Clark 404R Telephone: (408) 924-5546 Email: Drop Box in the Introduction to Human Evolution e-text. Office Hours: Tu 3:00PM – 5:45 PM; Th 3:00PM – 5:15 PM Class Days/Time: TuTh 12:00PM – 1:15PM Classroom: WSQ207 GE/SJSU Studies Category: B2/Life Science Course Description The human organism from an evolutionary perspective. The foundations of life and evolutionary theory. Introduction to primate behavior and the fossil record. Human biocultural evolution over the last sixty million years. Detailed Course Description: Introduction to Human Evolution is a course designed to allow students to appreciate the evolutionary history of our species and the biological bases that are at the foundation of this process. The course is an introductory one; thus, no specific prior knowledge is assumed. There are no prerequisites to take this course. During the semester, students will acquire basic biological knowledge relating to molecular biology, cell reproduction, fundamental principles of micro- and macro- evolutionary theory (especially the role of natural selection), and the intellectual background leading to the development of evolutionary theory. This foundation will then be used to explore the specific evolutionary history of major groups of organisms with a specific focus on human evolutionary history. Comparative perspectives will be incorporated so to provide a basis for understanding how humans are related to other primates (and what this implies structurally, physiologically, and behaviorally). Furthermore, data provided directly by the fossil and molecular records will be comprehensively reviewed in tracing the major features of human evolution. In summary, this course attempts to place our species in a clear evolutionary context and to Introduction to Human Evolution, ANTH012 3, Spring 2011 Page 1 of 11
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ask basic questions relating to human origins, such as what kind of creature are we, how did we get to be this way, and where did we come from. Major topics will include: The history of evolutionary theory Biological basis of life: cells, DNA, and genes Evolution and heredity Overview of primates Hominid/human origins Modern human origins Human variation and adaptation Course Goals and Student Learning Objectives At a general level, this course is primarily about the nature of the evolutionary process, how it works, and how scientists have come to understand the process (specifically to understand ourselves). The evidence relating to human evolution is used to illustrate evolutionary and biological processes (such as natural selection, reproduction, heredity, etc). In addressing the fundamental questions relating to human origins, you will be challenged to think critically, apply sound scientific methodologies, understand and assess quantitative data, and communicate your knowledge. At SJSU, students are encouraged to recognize that education is participatory experience.
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2011 for the course ANTH 012 taught by Professor Vanwyngarden,annalise during the Spring '11 term at San Jose State.

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ANTH012_Spring_2011 - San Jos State University Social...

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