Anthro 101 Syllabus

Anthro 101 Syllabus - HUMAN ORIGINS Anthropology 101 Spring...

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HUMAN ORIGINS Anthropology 101 Spring 2011 Dr. Anne Grauer Laboratory: 016 Flanner Hall Phone: 508-3480 Fax: 508-3383 email: [email protected] Office Hours: MF 10am-12pm and Tuesday 10-11:00am and by appointment ________________________________________________________________________________ COURSE DESCRIPTION This course has as its overall focus the study of the biological history of the human species, from its emergence through the establishment of food producing societies. It concentrates on the place of humans in the natural world, both in regard to our biological features and our ecological role. It emphasizes how humans are related to other organisms and traces the evolutionary lines that reflect that relatedness – particularly to our closest living relatives, the non-human primates – and it presents the scientific evidence and methodological approaches that establish these patterns of relationship. The result of this integrated scientifically-grounded approach is a course which fulfills the requirements for the CORE KNOWLEDGE AREA of SCIENTIFIC LITERACY. It does so by focusing on basic biological principles (heredity, physiology, evolutionary mechanisms, adaptation, and ecology) in the context of their application to the human condition, as well as the role of cultural behavior in defining the distinctiveness of that condition. In addition, the course’s focus on the biological basis and evolutionary development of human biological variation gives students an understanding of the biological foundation of human diversity. This understanding provides a firm foundation for approaching all other aspects of human diversity. Thus this course also fulfills a CORE VALUE requirement in UNDERSTANDING HUMAN DIVERSITY. The course also develops the SKILL of CRITICAL THINKING in that students are required to assess information from numerous sources and disciplines (paleontology, genetics, and archaeology) in order to approach an understanding of what it means to be human. For example, the student must: learn how to judge the scientific veracity of statements made in particular sources; how to build cogent arguments about major events in human biological history from different lines of information; evaluate which types of information are more relevant and/or more reliable in specific contexts; and assess the reasons why scientific perspectives on issues change over time. Although this course is designed to be introductory, it is NOT elementary. Students will be responsible for understanding and synthesizing complex theories and data. COURSE LEARNING GOALS Based on the information presented in the course, students will know and understand: The scientific method. What differentiates science as a “way of knowing” from other way we seek to understand and explain the world. The bases and premises of the scientific approach. The integrative nature of science.
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Anthro 101 Syllabus - HUMAN ORIGINS Anthropology 101 Spring...

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