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Winter Academic Term 2001 Course Guide

Note: You must establish a session for Winter Term 2001 on wolverineaccess.umich.edu in order to use the link "Check Times, Location, and Availability". Once your session is established, the links will function.

Courses in Biological Anthropology

This page was created at 9:22 AM on Wed, Nov 1, 2000.

Winter Term, 2001 (January 4 April 26)

Open courses in Biological Anthropology

Wolverine Access Subject listing for ANTHRBIO

Take me to the Winter Term '01 Time Schedule for Biological Anthropology.

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ANTHRBIO 161. Introduction to Biological Anthropology.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): John C Mitani (mitani@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (NS). (BS). Does not count toward anthropology concentration requirements.

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

What is the material basis of evolution? How have humans evolved? Why do humans behave in the manner that they do? This class seeks to answer these enduring questions. The course will be divided into three parts. We will begin by reviewing the theory of evolution and examining how evolution produces adaptations and creates new species. This section will conclude by outlining how evolution has shaped the behavior of our closest living relatives, the nonhuman primates. The second part of the class will be devoted to investigating the human fossil record and tracing the physical and behavioral evolution of our species. The course will conclude by asking how evolution has affected contemporary human behavior. The emphasis throughout will be on the processes that have shaped human evolution and how these have produced who we are. The class includes three lectures plus one discussion/lab meeting per week. Grades will be based on 3 midterms and GSI evaluation.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

ANTHRBIO 351. Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origins of Modern Humanity.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Milford H Wolpoff (wolpoff@umich.edu), John D Speth (jdspeth@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Theories about modern human origins have received tremendous media coverage, deservedly so because they incorporate the fundamental issues of human evolution. Modern humans differ not only from other animals but also from their predecessors. People not very different from living populations in their behavioral capacities and anatomical features only first appear perhaps 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. Considerable controversy surrounds the question of whether these behavioral capacities and anatomies are causally linked, and why they appear when and where they do. New data have addressed these issues from disciplines as diverse as mitochondrial genetics and the foraging ecology of ancient human hunters, but the issues remain far from resolved. In this course, we propose to integrate these various sources of information and insight. We draw on genetics, fossils, and archaeology to outline and explain what actually constitutes modern humanity and its diversity, and how its unique aspects came about. Using the modern human origins controversy as an organizing principle allows us to delve deeply into the different aspects of what it means to be human.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRBIO 362. Problems of Race.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles L Brace (clbrace@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (3). (NS). (BS).

R&E

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The subject matter covered in this course is different from but complementary to that covered in Anthropology 347 which is more concerned with race relations. Anthropology 362, on the other hand, addresses itself to two main problem areas where race is concerned: (1) the common concept of race has an inadequate foundation in biology and must be dispensed with before we can make sense out of the very real aspects of human biological variation. This portion of the course treats the dimensions of human biological differences that can be traced according to selective force distributions and their changes through time. These will be contrasted with the biological traits that show regional clustering but which have no adaptive value and cannot therefore be hierarchically arranged. (2) If the common concept of race has an inadequate biological base, how did we get stuck with our generally held assumptions when it would appear that they owe more to folklore than to biology? This portion of the course deals principally with the history of the race concept. All the material covered by the course will be dealt with in lecture. Supplementary readings will be suggested from time to time, along with specific sections in the assigned texts. Texts: C.L. Brace, The Stages of Human Evolution Lecture outlines (syllabus) and C.L. Brace, Race is a Four Letter Word will be available at Kinko's copying.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 3, 4

ANTHRBIO 364. Nutrition and Evolution.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Andres R Frisancho (arfrisan@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4; 3 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The purpose of this course is to study nutrition from an evolutionary perspective. Specifically this course will examine:

  1. the evolutionary roots including mammalian evolutionary history, primate origins, fossil evidence from australopithecine to Homo sapiens
  2. food procurement through hominid evolution including the archaeological evidence about the evolutionary roots of human diet, the evolution of the digestive system and brain size of non-human and human primates;
  3. food and nutrients which examines the physiology of nutrient utilization from carbohydrates to fats and proteins, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes
  4. Homo sapiens food procurement from hunter-gathering, agriculture and animal domestication
  5. food and culture which examines the sociocultural factors that may have contributed to the practice of cannibalism, the ecological basis for the preference and food taboos in contemporary populations, the biological basis for the variability in the ability to digest milk, accommodation to dietary restriction throughout the life cycle, and the consequence of human endeavor to increase its food supply and decrease energy expenditure on the increased prevalence of obesity that is reaching epidemic proportions throughout the industrialized world.

NOTE: All students are expected to know about the principles on which techniques of assessing body composition and nutritional status are based. Such knowledge will be tested on the exam. One option is to learn these techniques by having one's own body size and composition measured by another student, and to measure another student's body size and composition. Students may also choose the option of measuring the weight and fat percentage of their GSI, if their GSI agrees. Students who do not wish to have their body size and composition measured and/or who do not wish to perform such measurements on others will be excused from the assignment. Those who do not participate in these measurements will lose no points as a result. Instead, such students will be given written exercises addressed at interpreting these anthropometric measurements.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRBIO 365. Human Evolution.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Rachel Caspari (rcaspari@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. High school biology is assumed. (4). (NS). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Human evolution has been a biological process with both social and physical aspects. Through lectures, discussion section, laboratory, and reading, the interrelated process of behavioral and physical change is outlined for humans and their ancestors. Emphasis is placed on evolutionary mechanisms, and context is provided through an understanding of the pre-human primates. The human story begins with origins and the appearance of unique human features such as bipedality, the loss of cutting canines, the appearance of continual sexual receptivity, births requiring midwifery, and the development of complex social interactions. An early adaptive shift sets the stage for the subsequent evolution of intelligence, technology, and the changes in physical form that are the consequence of the unique feedback system involving cultural and biological change. The "Eve" theory and other ideas about the origin of modern humanity and human races, and their development and relationships, are discussed in this context. Class participation and discussion are emphasized, and there is a required discussion/laboratory section for elaboration of lecture topics and supervised hands-on experience with primate skeletal material and replicas of human fossils. Student evaluations are based on two examinations, laboratory quizzes, and a laboratory exam. High school biology is assumed.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRBIO 399. Honors in Biological Anthropology and Anthropology/Zoology.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Senior standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit twice.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Seniors who choose to enter the Honors program undertake a senior project under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Most often this takes the form of an original paper of greater scope than is possible in an ordinary term paper, and it gives the student experience in conducting and writing up his or her own research. Students who are interested in joining the senior Honors program should consult with the departmental Honors advisor for biological anthropology. Previous participation in the College Honors Program is not a prerequisite for joining the senior Honors program.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: "5, Permission of Instructor"

ANTHRBIO 452. Population Genetics and Anthropology.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): David Andrew Merriwether (andym@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: One course in anthropology or biology. No credit granted to those who have completed Biology 490. (4). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course covers the basics of population genetics, with special reference to evolutionary questions and questions relating to anthropology. Core concepts of population genetics will be emphasized, including: selection, drift, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, neutrality, heterogeneity, genetic distance, gene flow, founder effects, and bottlenecks. Regular homework assignments will require students to calculate these various measures from real and simulated data. Final projects will involve population genetic analyses of data to test hypotheses using real and simulated data. There will be midterm and final exams involving quantitative and qualitative questions about population genetics and evolution.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRBIO 467. Human Behavioral Ecology.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Beverly I Strassmann (bis@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: A strong background in the natural sciences is assumed, including any two of the following courses: Anthropology 161, 368; Biology 162, 404, 494. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course considers the anthropological significance of recent advances in natural selection theory. Particular topics include: cooperation, reciprocity, inclusive fitness, sexual selection, mating systems, and parental investment. Students will read the primary scientific literature to learn how anthropologists test evolutionary hypotheses in varied geographic and cultural contexts (for example, Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay, Dogon agriculturalists of Mali, Kipsigi pastoralists of Kenya, 19th-century Europeans, and contemporary North Americans). Natural selection theory will also be used to probe the field of human reproductive ecology, with emphasis on the demographic transition, historical demography, the evolution of menstruation, and female fecundity. In addition to exams, students will write a term paper in which they hone their ability to discriminate among alternative view points using both qualitative and quantitative data.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

ANTHRBIO 471. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology.

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). A maximum of three credits of independent reading may be included in a concentration plan in anthropology. (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Laboratory training and work in the techniques used in various aspects of research in biological anthropology.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: "5, Permission of Instructor"

ANTHRBIO 562. Human Nature.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Beverly I Strassmann (bis@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Biol. Anthro. 467 and permission of instructor. (2). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (2).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This is an advanced seminar in evolutionary psychology. Topics include: human social relationships, morality, religion, and the emotions. Students will read provocative books, such as Robert Wright's The Moral Animal (or other books of current interest), as well as original scientific articles. Students will be encouraged to discuss the subject matter in relation to their own experiences. This is a fast paced course intended for students who have already read any two of the following texts: The Selfish Gene (R. Dawkins), The Biology of Moral Systems (R.D. Alexander), Introduction to Behavioral Ecology (J.R. Krebs and N.B. Davies), or Sex, Evolution, and Behavior (M. Daly and M. Wilson). Related books may be substituted for the above. Grading will be based on class participation and an in-depth research paper.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: "5, Permission of Instructor"

ANTHRBIO 570. Biological Anthropology: An Overview.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Charles L Brace (clbrace@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: An undergraduate concentration in anthropology or its equivalent. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is conceived as a summary of what a professional anthropologist should understand concerning those aspects of basic biology that have to be taken into account to make sense out of the evidence for human evolution and "racial" variation. The emergence of modern "racial" differences is treated in terms of both adaptive and non-adaptive aspects of biological variation. The perspective of evolutionary theory is used throughout. The contributions made by the study of both living and fossil non-primates is also included.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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