Maricopa Community Colleges  ASM104   20045-99999 

Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 4-27-2004

ASM104  2004 Summer II – 2009 Spring

L+L  4.0 Credit(s)  5.0 Period(s)  4.7 Load  Acad

Bones, Stones, and Human Evolution

Study of human evolution and variation; including fossil hominids and their tools, primate anatomy and behavior, human genetics, and the environment and human biology.

Prerequisites: None.

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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:


ASM104  2004 Summer II – 2009 Spring

Bones, Stones, and Human Evolution



Identify the major areas of anthropology. (I)


Evaluate contrasting scientific viewpoints regarding the process of evolution. (II)


Explain the basic terms and processes of Mendelian genetics. (III)


Describe the structure of DNA and the process of mutation. (III)


Identify and define the forces of evolution. (IV)


Describe one human physiologic variation as an adaptation to environmental factors. (IV)


Distinguish between the major biological categories of the living primates and describe the anatomical differences between those categories. (V)


Relate aspects of primate social behavior to group cohesion and/or environmental factors. (VI)


Identify major trends in early primate evolution. (VII)


Compare and contrast various Australopithecine and early Homo fossils and sites. (VIII)


Describe the skeletal characteristics and the culture of Homo erectus. (VIII)


Compare early Homo sapiens, skeletally and culturally, to both Homo erectus and later Homo sapiens. (IX)


Evaluate different theories regarding the origins of anatomically modern humans. (IX)


Describe the culture of the Upper Paleolithic. (IX)


Evaluate competing hypotheses regarding the origin of agriculture and the beginnings of civilization. (X)


Describe the peopling and development of early civilization in the New World. (X)

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MCCCD Official Course Outline:


ASM104  2004 Summer II – 2009 Spring

Bones, Stones, and Human Evolution


I. What is anthropology?

A. Physical anthropology

B. Archaeology

C. Sociocultural anthropology/linguistics

II. Darwin and the principles of evolution

A. Development of evolutionary theory

1. World view of the time

2. Darwin's predecessors

B. Darwin and Wallace

1. Evidence for theories

2. Theory of evolution by natural selection

3. Alternate scientific views of evolution (e.g., punctuated equilibria)

III. Basic genetics

A. Mendelian genetics

1. Mendel's experiments

2. Segregation and independent assortment

3. Dominance/codominance

4. Homo/heterzygosity


1. Structure

2. Process of replication

C. Mutation

IV. Population genetics

A. "Forces of evolution"

1. Migration

2. Mutation

3. Natural selection

4. Genetic drift

B. Human variation

1. Blood types

2. Sickle cell anemia

3. Skin color

4. Other characteristics

5. Relations/adaptations to environment

V. Living primates

A. Classification

B. Anatomical comparisons

VI. Primate behavior

A. Aspects of social behavior (e.g., grooming)

B. Behavior and environment

C. Language

1. Nonhuman primate communication

2. Human language

VII. Primate evolution

A. Early primates (Eocene and Oligocene)

1. Fossils

2. Environments

B. Later primates (Miocene, Plio-Pleistocene)

1. Fossils

2. Environments

VIII. Plio-Pleistocene hominids

A. Early traces

B. Australopithecines

IX. Homo sapiens

A. Archaic forms

1. Early archaics

2. Neanderthals and their contemporaries

B. Culture of archaic Homo sapiens

1. Technology

2. Social behavior

C. Anatomically modern humans

1. Regional overview

2. Spread of people

3. Culture changes in the upper Paleolthic

X. Post-Pleistocene adaptations (Old and New Worlds)

A. Mesolithic/Archaic

B. The Neolithic and domestication

1. Process

2. Explanations

3. Consequences


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