ANTH 1200 - Introduction to Physical Anthropology
Credit Hours: 4.00
This course is an introduction to the areas of work and techniques employed by physical anthropologists. Topics of interest for this study will be population genetics, the taxonomy of the human, primate similarities and behaviors, fossil evidence, human evolution, human migrations, and current issues. This class will explore the role of humans in the animal world, as well as a member of society.
Contact Hours: 4
Billable Contact Hours: 4
OUTCOMES AND OBJECTIVES
Outcome 1: Upon completion of this course, students will identify the evolutionary milestones of the history of the human species and the rise of cultural, human-type behaviors.
- Know the fossil evidence available for our hominid ancestors and what behaviors are shown through that evidence.
- Understand the development of fossilized remains; how fossilization occurs, what conditions are necessary, what paleoanthropologists discover.
- Analyze the inferred behaviors of early hominids and the rise of behaviors classified as human, such as cooking, tool making, hunting, burying the dead, caring for the sick and elderly, the rise of religion, the creation of art.
Outcome 2: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to identify the biological aspects of genetic diversity among populations of people.
- Identify DNA, from Chromosome to Gene to Allele to Chemical Base Pairs and use the proper terminology to refer to the processes of meiosis and mitosis.
- Describe and discuss the methods through which genetic material is transferred from individual to individual.
- Describe and discuss the methods through which genetic material is transferred from population to population: Mutation, Natural Selection, Genetic Drift or Gene Flow.
OUTCOME 3: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to explain ethical issues arising from modern scientific advances as well as religion based belief systems.
- Discuss why Evolution is a Creation Story and understand the cosmological basis for various ideas of where humankind came from.
- Identify social problems arising from the current state of scientific knowledge - - the Human Genome Project conclusions, Stem Cell Ethics, the possible futures of evolution for humans.
- Describe and discuss the current issues of primate study and testing. (Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and other primatologists)
- Describe and discuss the social and biological issues facing primates in the wild.
Outcome 4: Upon completion of this course, students will examine the anthropological belief that homo-sapiens is a member of the animal kingdom.
- Recognize the characteristics of the various taxonomic categories that apply to homo-sapiens.
- Identify the animal behaviors and physical characteristics that show similarities and differences from humankind.
- Identify primate species and define the concept of common ancestor.
- Analyze primate behaviors to attempt to define the separation (if so determined) between animal and human life.
Outcome 5: Upon completion of this course, students will be able to apply critical thinking skills to anthropological issues through the use of analytic reasoning techniques.
- Analyze and evaluate scientific evidence from fossils, laboratories, and academia through written and verbal reports.
- Interpret data and formulate informed opinions through research and report production comparing and contrasting taxonomic categories.
- Identify and discuss the changing role of forensic anthropologist in today’s society.
COMMON DEGREE OUTCOMES
(Bulleted outcomes apply to the course)
- 1. The graduate can integrate the knowledge and technological skills necessary to be a successful learner.
- 2. The graduate can demonstrate how to think competently.
- The graduate can demonstrate how to employ mathematical knowledge.
- 4. The graduate can demonstrate how to communicate competently.
- 5. The graduate is sensitive to issues relating to a diverse, global society.
COURSE CONTENT OUTLINE
- Week One: What is Physical Anthropology? Why do we consider this a science?
- Week Two: The Background for Evolution. Darwin and his predecessors.
- Week Three: Evolutionary Genetics. How Traits are Inherited.
- Week Four: The Processes of Evolution. Population Genetics.
Mutation, Natural Selection, Gene Flow, Genetic Drift
- Week Five: The Origin of Species and Catastrophic Extinctions
- Week Six: Geologic Behaviors (Continental Drift). Chronology of Evolution.
- Week Seven: The Primates. Physical Aspects
- Week Eight: The Primates - Social Aspects
- Week Nine: The Evidence for Human Evolution - Fossils, Molecular Clock,
Creation Stories and Ethics
- Week Ten: The Earliest Hominids. Bipedalism.
- Week Eleven: The Rise of the Species “Homo”. Homo Habilis, Erectus, Neanderthal, Sapiens.
- Week Twelve: Modern Human Adaptations. Population Variation. Disease.
- Week Thirteen: Human Biological Diversity - Sex and Gender. Race.
- Week Fourteen: Forensic Anthropology / Biological Archaeology
- Week Fifteen: Modern Ethical Issues
Official Course Syllabus - Macomb Community College, 14500 E 12 Mile Road, Warren, MI 48088
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