SC216--Anthropology--Spring 2014
Tuesday, Thursday, Period Q (2:00-3:15 PAM), 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: 12-3 PM MW, 11-12 AM TTh

OFFICE PHONE: 859-1331

HOME PHONE: 338-1074


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Stanford, Allen & Anton, Biological Anthropology, 3rd ed., Pearson, 2013 (ISBN: 978-0-205-15068-7).

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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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There will be seven quizzes, of which the lowest two will be dropped. They will count in grading as one quarter of the final grade.

There will be one 10-page term paper, typed, double-spaced, with references, with accompanying presentation to the class, 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 31. Papers will be presented to the class AND ARE DUE April 25. See this file for general specifications.

Possible topics include but are not limited to: 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 count as one quarter 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 papers 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 1/7 Introduction What Is Biological Anthropology?
Th 1/9Ch. 1 Origins of Evolutionary Thought
T 1/14 Ch. 2 Genetics: Cells and Molecules
Th 1/16Quiz #1, on Introduction & Chapters 1 & 2
 Ch. 3 Genetics: From Genotype to Phenotype
T 1/21 Ch. 4 The Forces of Evolution & The Formation of Species
Th 1/23 Quiz #2, on Chapters 3 & 4  
  Ch. 5 Human Variation: Evolution, Adaptation, & Adaptability
T 1/28 Ch. 5 cont. 
Th 1/30 Exam #1, on Introduction & Chapters 1-5 Apes & Other Ancestors: Prehominin Evolution
Announcement and discussion of paper topics (see above for some possible topics)
T 2/4 Ch. 6 The Primates
 Th 2/6 Ch. 7 Primate Behavior
T 2/11Quiz #3, on Chapters 6 & 7
  Ch. 8 Fossils in Geological Context
Th 2/13 Ch. 9 Origin of Primates
2/17-2/21 WINTER BREAK  
T 2/25 Quiz #4, on Chapters 8 & 9  
 Ch. 10 Becoming Human: The Ape-Hominin Transition
Th 2/27 Exam #2, on Chapters 6-10  
T 3/4 Ch. 11 Early Hominins
Th 3/6Ch. 12 Origin and Evolution of Genus Homo
T 3/11 Quiz #5, on Chapters 11 & 12
Ch. 13 Archaic Homo sapiens and Neandertals
Th 3/13 Ch. 13 cont.  
T 3/18 Ch. 14 The Emergence and Dispersal of Homo sapiens
Th 3/20Ch. 14 cont. Evolution of Language and the Brain
 Cave Paintings Video
T 3/25 Quiz #6, on Chapters 13 & 14 The Neandertal Enigma--Discoveries
  Ch. 15 Evolution of the Brain and Language
Th 3/27 Oral progress reports on final papers--Opportunity to ask questions, seek guidance, etc.  
3/31-4/4 SPRING BREAK  
T 4/8 Exam #3, on Chapters 11-15  
Th 4/10 Ch. 16Biomedical Anthropology
T 4/15 Ch. 16 cont.  
Th 4/17Ch. 17 The Evolution of Human Behavior
T 4/22Quiz #7, On Chapters 16 & 17
 Ch. 18 Bioarcheology and Forensic Anthropology
Th 4/24Paper Presentations  

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Syllabus last modified October 1, 2013.