Anthropology | Hum Behavior Evolutionary Perspective
B400 | 7072 | Wiley


In this course we will explore the evolutionary roots of human
behavior, and more broadly, seek to understand human behavior from an
evolutionary perspective.  We will first review Darwin’s contributions
to evolutionary theory, and link them to modern understandings of
heredity.  Then we will consider current theoretical models that are
have been developed to explain the evolution of behavior across
animals.  These include kin selection, group selection, sexual
selection, and life history theory. We will consider evolutionary
models of behavior that elucidate a biological basis for behavior
(which makes it subject to natural selection); those that argue from
what is predicted by evolutionary theory; and those that make use of
data from primate studies and the fossil record to argue for the
adaptive significance of contemporary human behavior.  Throughout the
course we will make use of data derived from the fossil record,
genetics, studies of non-human primates, cross-cultural comparisons,
and surveys of contemporary human behavior.  The scope of human
behavior will be inclusive, and range from morality to bipedalism.  We
will also maintain an open critical stance toward evolutionary
hypothesizing about human behavior.