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  • Introduction to Biological Anthropology
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This course introduces the concepts, methods of inquiry, and scientific explanations for biological evolution and their application to the human species. Issues and topics will include, but are not limited to, genetics, evolutionary theory, human variation and biocultural adaptations, comparative primate anatomy and behavior, and the fossil evidence for human evolution. The scientific method serves as foundation of the course. The course may include a lab component.


Eligibility for or completion of C-ID ENGL 100: College Composition.

  1. Nature of scientific inquiry and the scientific method
  2. Anthropological perspective
  3. History and development of biological evolutionary thought
  4. Molecular, Mendelian and population genetics
  5. Mechanisms of evolution
  6. Comparative primate taxonomy, anatomy and behavior
  7. The nature of the fossil record including dating techniques
  8. Fossil and genetic evidence of human evolution
  9. Biocultural adaptations and modern human variation

The course may include a lab component.

At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Describe the scientific process as a methodology for understanding the natural world.
  2. Define the scope of anthropology and discuss the role of biological anthropology within the discipline.
  3. Identify the main contributors to the development of evolutionary theory.
  4. Explain the basic principles of Mendelian, molecular and population genetics.
  5. Evaluate how the forces of evolution produce genetic and phenotypic change over time.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of classification, morphology and behavior of living primates.
  7. Summarize methods used in interpreting the fossil record, including dating techniques.
  8. Recognize the major groups of hominin fossils and describe alternate phylogenies for human evolution.
  9. Identify the biological and cultural factors responsible for human variation.

Multiple measures may include, but are not limited to: 

  1. In-class discussions and exercises
  2. Individual/group writing projects
  3. Written or oral quizzes
  4. Field assignments
  5. Journal reviews
  6. Other writing assignments
  7. Exams

Boyd, Robert and Joan B. Silk. How Humans Evolved.  Norton.

Fuentes, Agustin. Biological Anthropology: Concepts and Connections. McGraw-Hill.

Jurmain, Robert, Lynn Kilgore and Wenda Trevathan. Essentials of Physical Anthropology. Cengage. 

Jurmain, Robert, Lynn Kilgore, Wenda Trevathan and Russel Ciochon.  Introduction to Physical Anthropology.  Cengage.

Larsen, Clark Spencer.  Our Origins:  Discovering Physical Anthropology. Norton. 

Park, Michael Allen. Biological Anthropology.  McGraw-Hill.

Relethford, John.  The Human Species:  An Introduction to Biological Anthropology.  McGraw-Hill.

Stanford, Craig, John S. Allen and Susan C. Anton. Biological Anthropology. Pearson.

Stein, Philip L. and Bruce M. Rowe.  Physical Anthropology.  McGraw-Hill.

Supplementary readings:

Angeloni, Elvio. Annual Editions:  Physical Anthropology.  McGraw-Hill. 

France, Diane. Lab Manual and Workbook for Physical Anthropology.  Cengage. 

Hens, Samantha.  Method and Practice in Biological Anthropology: A Workbook and Lab Manual for Introductory Courses.  Pearson. 

Park, Michael Allen. Biological Anthropology: An Introductory Reader. McGraw-Hill.

Walker-Pacheco, Suzanne.  Exploring Physical Anthropology: A Lab Manual and Workbook. Morton. 

Whitehead, Paul, William Sacco and Susan Hochgraf.  A Photographic Atlas for Physical Anthropology.  Morton.

Or equivalent Open Educational Resource

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  • Biological anthropology is one of the core components of anthropology.

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