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Examines the fossil and genetic evidence for human evolution. Using the fossil record of early primate evolution as a foundation, the emergence of early hominins and their descendants is investigated. The evolution of human adaptations and hypotheses regarding the selective pressures leading to these adaptations are examined. Current debates such as the position of Neanderthals and Denisovans in the human lineage are emphasized. Students learn basic principles of molecular genetics and discuss the use of genetics in evolutionary research, which requires laboratory work. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.
Prerequisite: Biology 131, Molecular Biology 111, or Molecular Biology 131, or Chemistry & Biochemistry 108 with consent of instructor.