Anthropology | Human Origins & Prehistory
A105 | 0366 | Hunt

In A105 we will investigate the reasons humans evolved minds and bodies that
are dramatically different from those of our immediate ancestors (an
ape-like animal that lived 6 million years ago) and our closest relatives
(the chimpanzees).  Among the most important distinctions from other animals
is our extreme reliance on tools and technology for survival.  The unmatched
complexity of our communication skills (I mean language—mostly) is another
extremely distinctive human characteristic.  We will achieve a basic
knowledge of what our ancestors looked like at each stage of their
evolution, of the origins of human technology.  We will learn why we evolved
bipedalism, hairlessness, large brains, diets low in poisons and high in
easily digestible substances, and less robust bones and teeth.    The course
grade will be determined by your performance in 3 areas, (1) discussion
section (10%), (2) course assignments (10%) and (3) three exams (25%, 25%
and 30% for the cumulative final).