Anthropology | Bioanthropology
B200 | 6002 | Vitzthum
Bioanthropology investigates the extent and causes of biological and
behavioral variation in contemporary and extinct humans and other
primates. In other words, bioanthropologists address the most
fundamental questions of life: “Who are we?” and “How did we get
here?” These efforts to understand ourselves at every level from
molecules to morphology require a variety of scientific approaches and
techniques. For example, evaluating the evolutionary relationship of
Neanderthals to later Europeans requires both excavated fossils and
genetic sequences determined in a laboratory. In B200 we will
examine the patterns of human variation that are seen over time and
across populations, and the scientific approaches used by
bioanthropologists to discover the causes of these patterns. The
principal focus is on understanding how evolution occurs and how
human populations change as a result of these evolutionary processes.
We will also examine how physical and sociocultural environments
influence an individual over the course of her/his lifetime, and the
potential intergenerational consequences of those interactions.
B200 is an introductory-level course that is required for the
undergraduate major in anthropology, and is a prerequisite for many
advanced courses in bioanthropology. B200 carries NMNS credit toward
the COAS distribution requirements. Grades are based on exams and
short written assignments.