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a201-11f-01-Intro - Introduction to Biological Anthropology...

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Introduction to Biological Anthropology: Notes 1 Introduction to the course Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - This is Anthropology 201: Introduction to Biological Anthropology - section 3 - there are also two other sections that meet at a different time, use a different textbook, etc. - I am Bruce Owen - an archaeologist with a lot of experience excavating human remains in Peru - so the last part of the course, involving skeletal anatomy and the fossil record, as well as the archaeological record, are right up my alley - but evolutionary theory and behavioral ecology have long been interests of mine, too - one of the great things about anthropology is that it is so broad: studying anthro is a license to follow interests ranging from chimps and gorillas to fossils to Inka ruins to linguistics to how cultures work, both foreign and our own - but this class will focus specifically on the biological aspects of anthropology - Enrollment - No wait list, special permissions, etc. - If you are on the waiting list, just keep coming for a few classes and hope that some others drop - put your name on the list that is circulating to show that you were here. I can (and may) drop people in the class or on the waiting list who miss both of the first two meetings - This course satisfies the lower division "Natural Sciences and Mathematics" General Education requirement, B2 (Biological Sciences) category - This is a science class - You will have to think carefully and logically, evaluate some slippery arguments, and work with real data - You don't need any background in anthropology or biology (although having some will make the class easier) - but I do expect you to deal with the information and reasoning presented in class and in the book - Some of the concepts are basically mathematical, but I will keep the math and numbers to a bare minimum. - You will have to understand graphs of data, though - The details of genetics are basically chemical, although we won't get into that too much, either - But I warn you -- a lot of students find this class to be harder than they expected - This course will help you think about some basic questions about people: - Where do we come from? - Why are we physically the way we are? - Why do we behave the way we do? - How did we get to be this way?
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Intro to Biological Anthro F 2011 / Owen: Introduction p. 2 - There are many ways to approach these questions - in this course, we focus on biological approaches - to understand how our biology affects our behavior and society, and to understand how we got to be the way we are - This is the field of Biological Anthropology - The study of people as biological organisms - that are understandable (in part) in terms of how our physical bodies work and interact with the environment, including other people - Biological anthropologists study - modern human biology - adaptations to different environments - reproduction - disease - diet - demography - movement and interaction of populations - and many others - this overlaps a lot with medical studies, but usually with a greater awareness of how culture interacts with biology -
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