ANTH-A 107 Becoming Human: Evolving Genes, Bodies, Behavior, Ideas
What makes us human?
The human story is revealed not only in our ideas and cultural behaviors, but also in our bodies and our genes. This class will introduce you to the scientific quest for human origins. We can make inferences about human evolution by comparing ourselves to our close living relatives (primates), but we can only really know how we became the unique species we are today by looking at ancient evidence, and tracing our bio-cultural evolution deep into prehistoric times.
Ultimately our goal is to help you appreciate how a knowledge of the deep human past is relevant to your own life, whether as a student at IU today, or as a future parent, medical patient, consumer, or IT professional.
Lectures will include digital media presentations and discussions using interactive student response systems (clickers) to model problem-solving and help students understand difficult concepts.
Weekly labs and discussions will give students the chance to study different types of evidence for themselves (e.g., casts of fossils,
artifacts) and to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to interpreting our past. Grades will be based on lecture participation, weekly take-home quizzes (administered online), weekly lab exercises, and three short essay assignments / projects.