Human Evolutionary Biology
This class examines the origins, evolution, and diversification of humans in a broad evolutionary framework.. First, we will review the processes of evolution and natural selection; including discussion of evolutionary fitness, adaptation, basic inheritance, and population genetics. Second, we will discuss the diversity, evolution, ecology and behavior of non-human primates; and consider how insights from the study of non-human primates can enrich our understanding of humans. Third, we will trace the morphological and technical evolution of humans from the earliest bipedal woodland apes through Neandertals and modern humans. Fourth, we will consider how an evolutionary framework can deepen our understanding of modern human genetic, phenotypic, and cultural diversity and behavior. By the end of the course students should understand the broad principles and patterns characterizing social, behavioral, and morphological aspects of human evolution.