ANTHRBIO 201 - Introduction to Biological Anthropology
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Anthropology, Biological (ANTHRBIO)
Department: LSA Anthropology
Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
BS, NS
BS:
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In this class, we will seek to understand how and why our ancestors diverged from other primates and evolved into walking, talking, big-brained, long-lived and behaviorally complex humans. To do so, we will examine in detail the processes that have shaped human evolution, and evaluate the many hypotheses that have been put forward to explain why our adaptations evolved.

The four-credit class is divided into four units. The first unit covers the basic principles of evolutionary biology, and includes overviews of adaptation, natural selection and genetics. We will review the evidence that demonstrates that evolution has occurred in humans, and in other organisms, discuss the factors that cause evolution and review the evidence explaining how complex biological adaptations are produced.

The second unit focuses on the behavior, morphology and ecology of nonhuman primates: lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys and especially apes. As our closest relatives, we share many features with the nonhuman primates, and in this unit we consider how a comparative approach may help us to better understand human biology.

Unit three pays particular attention to the fossil record, and how paleontology informs our understanding of the anatomical and behavioral transitions humans have undergone. We will review the fossil evidence for when and why many of our distinctive features, such as bipedalism, culture, language and brain enlargement evolved. We will also bring to bear genetic evidence, extracted from living humans and from fossils, to understand human transitions.

Finally, we focus on humans in modern contexts and consider the biological bases of behavioral and morphological variability. We will address questions such as:

  • Are human races a valid biological construct?
  • Why do we grow old and die?
  • Why do we get sick?
  • How do we choose our mates?

    Course Requirements:

    Students are evaluated via three midterms and one final exam based on lecture material, and by quizzes in section. There is one required text (How Humans Evolved, by Boyd and Silk) and several reserve readings. No prerequisites.

    Intended Audience:

    This class is appropriate for students of all levels who are interested in exploring what it means to be human from an evolutionary perspective. Students interested in obtaining an evolutionary anthropology or anthropology degree, and those with interests in biology and other health-related fields are also target audiences.

    Class Format:

    Lectures are multimedia presentations including film clips and slides. Weekly section meetings include discussion and hands-on exercises (using fossil casts, etc.) aimed at understanding the major transitions that characterize human evolution.

  • ANTHRBIO 201 - Introduction to Biological Anthropology
    Schedule Listing
    001 (LEC)
     
    10686
    Open
    7
     
    -
    TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
    Note: DISCUSSION SECTIONS BEGIN MEETING AFTER THE FIRST LECTURE. STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DIS SECTION WILL BE AUTO-ENROLLED IN THE LEC.
    002 (DIS)
    P
    10687
    Open
    1
     
    -
    M 10:00AM - 11:00AM
    003 (DIS)
    P
    10688
    Closed
    0
     
    -
    M 11:00AM - 12:00PM
    004 (DIS)
    P
    10689
    Open
    2
     
    -
    M 12:00PM - 1:00PM
    005 (DIS)
    P
    10690
    Open
    1
     
    -
    M 1:00PM - 2:00PM
    006 (DIS)
    P
    10691
    Open
    1
     
    -
    M 2:00PM - 3:00PM
    007 (DIS)
    P
    19760
    Open
    2
     
    -
    W 10:00AM - 11:00AM
    NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


    ISBN: 9780393936773
    How Humans Evolved, Author: Robert Boyd and Joan Silk, Publisher: Norton 7TH 2015
    Required
    ISBN: 9780393936773
    How Humans Evolved, Author: Robert Boyd and Joan Silk, Publisher: WW Norton 7TH 2015
    Required
    Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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