Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

Have you ever imagined what life would be like if you had a kangaroo pouch? Or the lower limbs of a praying mantis? How about gills to breathe underwater? It’s easy to assume that humans were destined to look the way that we do, but in fact nothing is predetermined about evolution. So, then, why don’t we have a pouch or gills? Why do we walk on two legs? And why are we so different from every other animal on earth in term of our cognitive abilities—speaking language, making art, and asking ourselves such questions? This course will begin to unravel those mysteries for you.

Student Outcomes

Students will be able to . . . • Summarize basic human evolutionary history from the development of bipedalism to the emergence of Homo sapiens. • Accurately describe evolutionary processes, including natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift. • Understand the concept of culture as it applies to humans and ape species. • Identify the suite of modern behaviors that separates Homo sapiens from earlier ancestral species.