Metropolitan State University

ANTH 101 : Human Origins

A. Course Description
Credits: 3
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal 05 - Hist/Soc/Behav Sci , Goal 10 - People/Environment
What is evolution and how does it differ from common beliefs about human origins? Students investigate the evolution of humans and other primates, and the cultural and biological adaptations of modern humans to their environments. The course explores a variety of topics including: the origins of language and culture, fossil evidence for primate and hominid evolution, and human biological variation. Students also examine contemporary debates about human origins.
B. Course Effective Dates: 09/06/1999 - 05/01/2002 05/02/2002 - 12/31/2003 01/01/2004 - 05/06/2013 05/07/2013 - Present
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Ability to explain the general processes of evolution, including the particular stages of human evolution and the adaptive strategies used by humans and non-human primates.
  2. Ability to describe the basic institutional arrangements that humans have developed to cope with particular environmental and natural resource challenges.
  3. Development of critical thinking skills needed to analyze and evaluate contemporary debates on the interrelationships between the environment, culture, and evolution.
  4. Knowledge and understanding of key concepts, methodologies, current theories of human origins and the relationships between biology and culture.
  5. Knowledge and understanding of the complex relationship between the environment and human cultural adaptations.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal 05 - Hist/Soc/Behav Sci
  1. Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  2. Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  3. Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
  4. Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
Goal 10 - People/Environment
  1. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.
  2. Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.
  3. Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems.
  4. Describe the basic institutional arrangements (social, legal, political, economic, religious) that are evolving to deal with environmental and natural resource challenges.
  5. Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.
  6. Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.
G. Special Information