Maricopa Community Colleges  ASM241   19912-20086 
Official Course Description: MCCCD Approval: 07/22/08
ASM241 19912-20086 LEC 3 Credit(s) 3 Period(s)
Biology of Race
The study of human variation and its interpretation in an evolutionary context.
Prerequisites: None.
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MCCCD Official Course Competencies:
ASM241   19912-20086 Biology of Race
1. Describe various methods of racial classification, and the technical problems in classification, with special emphasis on the ethical issues involved. (I)
2. List the "forces of evolution" and explain how they influence human variation. (II)
3. Describe the biological causes of differences in skin, hair, and eye color, and relate those differences to environmental factors. (III)
4. Evaluate claims regarding the correlation of biology and behavior in different racial groups. (IV)
5. Explain the ABO blood system in humans and possible selective factors acting on that system. (V)
6. Explain the genetic basis (if known), the possible selective factors, and the groups most affected by at least one human genetic disorder. ( VI)
7. Summarize the major ethical and legal issues arising from consideration of human genetic disorders. (VI)
8. Evaluate arguments regarding the genetic and environmental components of human intelligence and personality. (VII)
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MCCCD Official Course Outline:
ASM241   19912-20086 Biology of Race
    I. Introduction to human variation
        A. History of racial classification
        B. Modern classification systems: do "races" exist?
        C. Technical problems in classification
        D. Ethical issues in classification
      II. Genetic basis of variation
          A. Basic Mendelian genetics
          B. The "forces of evolution"
            1. Natural selection
            2. Migration
            3. Mutation
            4. Assortative mating
            5. Genetic drift
          C. Population genetics
          D. New developments
        III. Variation in color
            A. Biological factors in skin and hair color, hair form
            B. Worldwide distribution of skin and hair color, hair form
            C. Skin and hair color and natural selection
            D. Biological factors in eye color
            E. Distribution of eye color
            F. Natural selection and eye color
            G. Common misconceptions about skin color
          IV. Group variation in size and shape
              A. Height
              B. Body size and shape
              C. Skull shape
              D. Facial structure
                1. Shape
                2. Nose form
                3. Eyelid form
              E. Teeth
                1. Size
                2. Characteristics
              F. Athletics: racial differences in ability?
              G. Relation of size and shape variation to environmental factors
              H. Issues of correlation between biology, behavior, and environment
            V. Serological variation
                A. The ABO blood system and its allele distribution
                B. Selective factors on ABO distribution
                C. The Rh system, RH incompatibility
                D. Other serological systems (examples: MN, Duffy)
              VI. Human genetic disorders
                  A. Sickle cell anemia: its cause and distribution
                  B. Malaria and sickle cell: selection for the heterozygote
                  C. Other disorders (examples: cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs)
                  D. Susceptibility to disease
                  E. The role of genetic drift (example: the Amish)
                  F. Ethical and legal issues in genetic disorders
                VII. Brain, behavior, and intelligence
                    A. What is "intelligence"?
                    B. IQ testing
                    C. Ethnic or racial groups and "personality"
                    D. The interaction of genetics and environment
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