SC216--Anthropology--CED Spring 2012
Tuesday, 6-9:30 PM, Room 122

The Textbook

Course Description

Course Objectives

Course Policies

Grading System

Course Schedule

Prof. Thomas A. Easton

Photo of Professor Easton
OFFICE: Rm. 108

OFFICE HOURS: by appt.

OFFICE PHONE: 859-1331

HOME PHONE: 338-1074


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Campbell, Loy, & Cruz-Uribe, HUMANKIND EMERGING, 9th ed., Pearson/Allyn & Bacon, 2006 (ISBN: 0-205-42380-9).

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This course is designed to acquaint students with the origins of the human species. It covers basic evolution and genetics, population biology, primate anatomy and behavior, and the sequence of forms which marked the transformation of apelike creatures to ourselves.

See "Course policies" below for details on testing and grading.

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After completing this course, students will be able to:
  1. Explain how evolution works
  2. Describe the ways in which humans differ from other animals
  3. Describe the ways in which humans resemble other animals
  4. Explain why scientists found hard to accept the early discoveries of human ancestors
  5. Describe how the precursors of human beings differed from and resembled modern humans
  6. Describe how the precursors of human beings lived and adapted to their environment
  7. Summarize the evolution of humanity

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Six quizzes will be given at the beginning of class, covering the previous week's material. The lowest two quiz scores will be discarded. The remaining four will count in grading as one eighth of the final grade.

There will be one 10-page term paper, typed, double-spaced, with references, which will count for one quarter of the final grade. It should extend a topic chosen from among the many covered in the course beyond--in detail, depth, and currency--the coverage in the text. Topics must be chosen by January 24. Papers are due on or before March 20. See this file for general specifications.

Possible topics: The Dmanisi hominins, recent evidence for interbreeding between Neandertals and moderns, the earliest migrations (by Homo erectus), Homo floresiensis, the future evolution of humanity: natural or technological?

There will be three exams, as noted in the schedule. They will each count as one eighth of the final grade. The final quarter of the grade will come from the final exam.

There will be no make-ups on quizzes. Make-ups on exams are allowed only in case of illness. The only make-up time is during the instructor's office hours on the next class day.

Students who plagiarize tests and projects will receive zeros for the work in question, with no makeup opportunities.

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A (94 - 100)      A- (90 - 93)
B+ (87 - 89)     B (83 - 86)    B- (80 - 82)
C+ (77 - 79)     C (73 - 76)     C- (70 - 72)
D+ (67 - 69)     D (63 - 66)    D- (60 - 62)
F (below 60)

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T 1/3 Introduction
Ch. 1 Search for Human Origins
T 1/10 Quiz #1 -- on previous week's material
Ch. 2 Evolutionary Mechanisms:
T 1/17 Quiz #2 -- on previous week's material
Ch. 3 Humans among the Primates
Ch. 4 Behavior of Living Primates
T 1/24 Exam #1 (Chh. 1-4)
Ch. 5 Apes & Other Ancestors: Prehominin Evolution
Announcement and discussion of paper topics (see above for some possible topics)
T 1/31 Quiz #3 -- on previous week's material
Ch. 6 The South African Hominins
  Ch. 7 East Africa and the Sahel: A Multitude of Australopiths
T 2/7 Quiz #4 -- on previous week's material
Ch. 8 East Africa: The Advent of Homo
Ch. 9 Evolution of Hominin Behavior
T 2/14 Exam #2 (Chh. 5-9)
Ch. 10 Discovering Homo erectus
T 2/21 Quiz #5 -- on previous week's material
Ch. 11 Environment, Technology & Society of Homo erectus
Ch. 12 Homo heidelbergensis and the Advent of the Hunting Way of Life
T 2/28 Quiz #6 -- on previous week's material
 Ch. 13 Evolution of Language and the Brain
T 3/6 Ch. 14 (YUP! NO QUIZ!) The Neandertal Enigma
  Ch. 15 The Final Transformation: The Evolution of Modern Humans
T 3/13 Exam #3 (Chh. 11-15)
Ch. 16 The Advent of Modern Culture

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Syllabus last modified October 26, 2011.