Friday, August 18, 2017

This year's (2017) textbook-free Introduction to Human Origins and Evolution

This is a tradition now. You can search the archives for previous years' and for my philosophy behind this course. It's always evolving. 

As usual there is no textbook. Students only need to get the much-loved book by Alice Roberts, The Incredible Unlikeliness of Being ("IUB"), and read it all along with many other articles as you'll see below.

This year I was happy to see a study supporting my own practice which I take to be common sense--that we should teach genetics before evolutionary theory for explaining how it works (e.g. its mechanisms) : http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2002255

I haven't looked in a while, but teaching genetics before the mechanisms of evolution is not the approach of a single one of the textbooks for this course and that's one of the many reasons I stopped using them!

So, minus the in-class handouts and worksheets, here are the daily portfolio assignments for the newest incarnation of my big introductory, general education course on human evolution. As usual, I apologize for the formatting issues caused by pasting from a Word Document into this blog.  It's all yours if you want it....


 Fall 2017
APG 201: Human Origins and Evolution
3 credits
Dr. Holly Dunsworth


1. Observe and Explain - This view of life. Our place in nature

Big Questions: What is the anthropological perspective? What is the scientific approach to understanding human origins? What is a human? How do humans fit on the Tree of Life?

1.1 - Introduction to course
Assigned Reading/viewing
What is it like to be a biological anthropologist? A Field Paleontologist's Point of View – Su (Nature Education)
Notes from the Field: A Primatologist's Point of View – Morgan (Nature Education)
Expedition Rusinga (video; 8 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y1puNyB9e8  
The ape in the trees – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
How Do We Know When Our Ancestors Lost Their Tails? (video; 4 min)

Prompt:  This is an in-class prompt that you will be given in class.

[TRANSCRIBE YOUR ANSWER TO THE IN-CLASS PROMPT HERE.]

1.2 - Do animals know where babies come from?
Assigned Reading/viewing
“Do animals know where babies come from?” by H. Dunsworth (Scientific American)- Located on Sakai, and linked here:

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

[WRITE YOUR ANSWER HERE, AND SO ON AND SO FORTH FOR ALL BELOW…]

1.3 - Scientific process 
Assigned Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 1: Beginnings - Roberts
How Science Works (video; 10 min):
Understanding science: How Science Works, pages 1-21; starts here:
Carl Sagan’s Rules for Critical Thinking and Nonsense Detection
10 Scientific Ideas That Scientists Wish You Would Stop Misusing

Prompt 1: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t. What do you expect to learn from the rest of the book?

Prompt 2:  This has two parts, A and B. First, choose one of the following well-known and established observations. Indicate your choice by highlighting it.
  1. Children from low income homes show evidence of malnutrition.
  2. In most humans, the right humerus (upper arm bone) is larger than the left one.
  3. Pregnant mothers who smoke tend to have smaller babies than mothers who do not smoke.
  4. Chimpanzees living in zoos tend to be overweight compared to their relatives living in the wild.

A.    Without using anything but your own mind, come up with two different hypotheses to explain that one observation.

B.    Briefly describe how you would test these hypotheses you have offered. Include discussion of the methods and variables for obtaining evidence and the kinds of evidence that you would need to find to both refute and to support each hypothesis. 

1.4 - Linnaeus and the Order Primates
Assigned Reading/viewing
Characteristics of Crown Primates – Kirk (Nature Education)

Prompt: Answer the following questions (complete sentences are not necessary) by sticking to the reading above and these excellent resources:
Encyclopedia of Life: http://eol.org/

1.    My primate is a(n)  [will be assigned to you in class]
2.    What is the species?
3.    Here is a link to a video of this species:
4.    Where does it live on Earth?
5.    What is the range of its habitat? Describe the nature of the habitat.
6.    Is your primate nocturnal, diurnal, or crepuscular?
7.    What does it eat?
8.    How does it move about? 
9.    How does it socialize? (i.e. solitary? groups?...)
10.  How does it raise offspring? (i.e. solitary? groups?...)
11.  Body size (both kg/g and lb/oz)? Are male and female different?
12.  Coloration?
13.  What are its predators?
14.  Is it protected or endangered?
15.  Anything else fascinating about it?
16.  At what point in the past (millions of years ago) did it share a most recent (aka “last”) common ancestor with humans? (go to www.timetree.org to find out)

1.5  - Overview of Primate taxonomy
Assigned Reading/viewing
Many primate video clips –Posted on Sakai
Additional resources
Old World monkeys – Lawrence and Cords (Nature Education)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, write about your primate video viewing experience, for example, you might write about what you saw, at face value, or you might want to write about what defied your expectations or what surprised you, or what you would like to learn more about.

Prompt: Without looking at any resources except for these films, come up with some categories for the different types of primate locomotion, give those categories names and definitions, and list which species in the films fall into which categories you’ve created.

1.6 - Primate diet and locomotion; ecology and anatomy
Assigned Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 2: Heads and brains – Roberts
Additional resources
Primate locomotion – Gebo (Nature Education)
Our Fishy Brain (video; 2.5 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207797/

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

[Prompt for practice: Label all the bones that you can on the human skeleton. No need to demonstrate it here. Print out an  image and draw on it, but no need to scan into your portfolio (let’s keep this low tech, I trust you!). If you cannot name them all using only your memory, use a quality on-line resource (like https://askabiologist.asu.edu/bone-anatomy) to help you. (Do not concern yourself with the location of the individual carpals and tarsals but point out where the carpals and tarsals are.) ]
[Prompt for practice: Go to http://www.eskeletons.org/ and based on what you see, draw the os coxa (half of the pelvis) of a chimpanzee and a human. (Same as before, do on your own, no need to include here… let’s keep it low tech.)]
Prompt: Describe the similarities and differences in anatomy between chimp and human pelves/pelvises (do not worry about applying technical jargon). What kinds of behavioral differences might correlate with the anatomical differences in the pelvis and why?
[Prompt for practice: Go to http://www.eskeletons.org/ and based on what you see, draw the skull  (including teeth) of a chimpanzee and a human(Same as before, do on your own, no need to include here… let’s keep it low tech.).]
Prompt: Describe the similarities and differences in anatomy between chimp and human skulls and teeth (do not worry about applying technical jargon. What kinds of behavioral differences might correlate with the anatomical differences in skulls and teeth and why?
1.7 - continued 
Assigned Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 3: Skulls and senses – Roberts
Additional resources
Finding the Origins of Human Color Vision (video; 5 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207765/
We Hear with the Bones that Reptiles Eat With (video; 4 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207244/

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

1.8 - Primate encephalization, tool use and communication
Assigned Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 4: Speech and gills - Roberts
Additional resources
Primate Communication – Zuberbuhler (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

1.9 - Primate sociality
Assigned Reading/viewing
The Human Spark 2: So Human So Chimp – PBS, hosted by Alan Alda (video; 55 mins IF LINK IS BROKEN JUST SEARCH FOR IT)
Additional resources

What Influences the Size of Groups in Which Primates Choose to Live? – Chapman & Teichroeb (Nature Ed)
Primate Sociality and Social Systems – Swedell (Nature Ed)
Primates in communities – Lambert (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to The Human Spark 2, highlighting something you already knew and also something you learned that was brand new to you. What is the human spark?

1.10 - Evolution (shared ancestry over deep time) and Darwin's evidence for it
Assigned  Reading/viewing
Two chapters from The Autobiography of Charles Darwin: "Voyage…" (p. 71-81 ) and "An account of how several books arose" (p. 116- 135) http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?viewtype=text&itemID=F1497&pageseq=1
Additional resources
Amazing Places, Amazing Fossils: Tiktaalik (video; 5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2vKlEUX7DI
The Ancient History of the Human Hand (video; 4 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUL8hKDdY84

Prompt: In 200 words or more, according to your impression of Darwin’s writings, reflect on the circumstances or experiences that influenced Darwin's thinking.

1.11 - Phylogeny
Assigned Reading/viewing
Reading a phylogenetic tree – Baum (Nature Ed)
Trait Evolution on a Phylogenetic Tree – Baum (Nature Ed)

Prompt: How could someone falsify the accepted fact of evolution? Remember, for something to exist within the realm of that which is knowable via science, there must be a hypothetical way to falsify it.


**

2. Explain and Predict - Explaining the similarities and differences. How evolution works.

Big Questions: Why are we like our parents but not exactly? Why are we like other species but not exactly? How did human traits and human variation evolve? How do we know what the last common ancestor (LCA) was like?


2.1 - How eggs and sperm get made and how they make you
Assigned  Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 5: Spine and segments – Roberts
Additional resources
Gregor Mendel and the Principles of Inheritance – Miko (Nature Ed)
Mendelian Genetics: Patterns of Inheritance and Single-Gene Disorders – Chial (Nature Ed)
Developing the Chromosome Theory – O’Connor (Nature Ed)
Genetic Recombination – Clancy (Nature Ed)
What is a Gene? Colinearity and Transcription Units – Pray (Nature Ed)
RNA functions – Clancy (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

2.2 - continued
Assigned Reading/viewing
Things Genes Can’t Do – Weiss and Buchanan (Aeon)
Additional resources
Phenotypic Range of Gene Expression: Environmental Influence – Lobo & Shaw (Nature Ed)
Genetic Dominance: Genotype-Phenotype Relationships – Miko (Nature Ed)
Pleiotropy: One Gene Can Affect Multiple Traits – Lobo (Nature Ed)
Polygenic Inheritance and Gene Mapping – Chial (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t. Why is it important to consider what genes can and cannot do?

2.3 - Inheritance, gene expression, Mendel's simplicity and reality’s complexity
Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 6: Ribs, lungs and hearts– Roberts
Additional resources
Hox Genes in Development: The Hox Code – Myers (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

2.4 - Mutation and gene flow
Assigned reading/viewing
Evolution is the only natural explanation – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
The F-words of Evolution  – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
Another F-word of evolution  – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)
Additional resources
Evolution Is Change in the Inherited Traits of a Population through Successive Generations – Forbes and Krimmel (Nature Ed)
Mutations Are the Raw Materials of Evolution – Carlin (Nature Ed)
Mutation not natural selection drives evolution –  Tarlach (about Nei; Discover Magazine)

Prompt: Reflect back on your answer to “what is evolution” from Day 1.1 of class. What did you get right? What did you get wrong? What did you omit? How do the three assigned readings shape your view of evolution? What are you still left wondering about evolution?

2.5 - Natural selection
Assigned Reading/viewing
none
Additional Resources
Natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow do not act in isolation in natural populations – Andrews (Nature Ed)
Sexual selection – Brennan (Nature Ed)

Prompt: Write an answer for each of the questions below. In other words, come up with a hypothesis to explain the evolution of each of the four phenomena. These are evolutionary scenarios that you are writing.  This is brainstorming, so have no fear, but you should still write with clarity.
1.    How did the mandrill get that colorful face? What about the rear?
2.    How did the colobus monkey get a long, specialized gut?
3.    How did silverback gorillas become twice as big as females?
4.    How did humans become “naked”? (i.e. how did we cease to be as furry as the other primates)?

2.6 - Genetic drift
Assigned Reading/viewing
The Evolution of Your Teeth (video; 3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohq3CoOKEoo
Additional Resources
Neutral Theory: The null hypothesis of molecular evolution – Duret (Nature Ed)
Negative selection – Loewe (Nature Ed)
On the mythology of natural selection. Part I: Introduction – Weiss (The Mermaid’s Tale)
On the mythology of natural selection. Part II: Classical Darwinism– Weiss (The Mermaid’s Tale)
Secrets of Charles Darwin’s Breakthrough -  Bauer (Salon)

Prompt: Read on and answer questions when asked (A and B):
Remember…
       Most of us were taught incorrectly or led, wrongly, to believe that ‘evolution’ = ‘natural selection’ and that all evolution occurs through natural selection. This leads us to see every evolutionary scenario, all the way from fairy tale ones to the most scientifically legitimate ones, as natural selection. This is, of course, not a correct understanding of evolution.
       Natural selection can result in new adaptations or in the elimination of bad traits. The former is “positive” selection, the latter is “negative” and is always occurring no matter what. Positive selection does happen but is not easy to test, since natural selection occurs via differential reproductive success, but “survival of the luckiest” alleles via genetic drift can look exactly the same by increasing and decreasing allele frequencies just by chance. The difference between the two is that, in a selection scenario, the trait that’s evolving is causing the differential reproduction (whether enhancing or inhibiting, even if ever so slightly affecting it slowly over time), but in a genetic drift scenario the trait is randomly “drifting” to lower or higher frequencies merely due to chance (unlinked to the trait in question) effects on differential reproduction and chance passing of one allele or the other to offspring. Like selection, drift can completely fix or completely eliminate traits. Genetic drift is always occurring, and so is negative selection to some degree (filtering out mutations that prevent survival and reproduction) and positive selection to some degree (increasing the prevalence of mutations, new or old, that enhance survival and reproduction).

Read this blurb from a website below about a very common perception of human evolution:
_______________________________________________________________________________
Wisdom teeth might be lost as people continue to evolve
Why the modern diet may make wisdom teeth unnecessary
About 25 to 35 per cent of people will never get their wisdom teeth
By: Astrid Lange Toronto Star Library, Published on Tue Jun 25 2013
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early 20s. But not everyone does — the American Dental Association estimates that about 25 to 35 per cent of people will never get their wisdom teeth. Another 30 per cent will only get 1 to 3 of them. Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth evolved due to our ancestors’ diet of coarse, rough food — leaves, roots, nuts and meat — which required more chewing power and resulted in excessive wear of the teeth. Since people are no longer ripping apart meat with their teeth and the modern diet is made of softer foods, wisdom teeth have become less useful. In fact, some experts believe we are on an evolutionary track to losing them altogether.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

A.    Briefly explain the evolutionary mechanism behind the evolutionary scenario for future wisdom tooth loss that the author of the blurb alludes to. In other words, think about what the writer is really hypothesizing for future human evolution and rephrase his explanation, but scientifically, in terms of all or just some of the four main mechanisms of evolution that we discussed in class which are mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, and selection. Important! Banned words for your scenario include: Need(s/ed/ing), want(s/ed/ing), try(s/ed/ing), best, most and fittest.
B.    Write out an alternative scenario where natural selection is responsible for the loss of wisdom teeth in our future selves. If it’s not obvious, this will be a significantly different scenario from what the writer has imagined in the blurb and from what you wrote in response to ‘a.’ Important! Banned words for your scenario include: Need(s/ed/ing), want(s/ed/ing), try(s/ed/ing), best, most, and fittest.

2.7 - Malaria resistance and lactase persistence
Assigned Reading/viewing
None
Additional resources
Natural Selection: Uncovering Mechanisms of Evolutionary Adaptation to Infectious Disease – Sabeti (Nature Ed)

Prompt: Answer the following questions:

A.    What are the components of natural selection scenarios?
B.    What are the potential benefits to losing grasping abilities in our feet? In what environmental context?
C.    Write an evolutionary scenario, using natural selection, to explain how humans lost grasping ability in our feet.
D.    Write an evolutionary scenario, without using any form of selection, to explain how humans lost grasping ability in our feet.
E.     Give a plausible explanation, in Darwinian terms (i.e. using the components of natural selection, or if you want, sexual selection), for how humans lost our body fur and are now what’s often called ‘the naked ape.’ There are many ways to answer this for full credit as long as you incorporate all the components of selection properly
F.     Explain body fur loss without selection, using drift:

2.8 - Building evolutionary scenarios
Assigned Reading/viewing
none
Prompt: Look back at 2.5, for each of your evolutionary scenarios (i.e. your answers to the four questions), describe which evolutionary mechanisms (discussed in class) that you hypothesized were at work.
1.    “How did the mandrill get that colorful face? What about the rear?” Mechanisms you used (even if you didn’t use the official terms):
2.    “How did the colobus monkey get a long, specialized gut?” Mechanisms you used (even if you didn’t use the official terms):
3.    “How did silverback gorillas become twice as big as females?”Mechanisms you used (even if you didn’t use the official terms):
4.    “How did humans become ‘naked’?” (i.e. how did we cease to be as furry as the other primates)? Mechanisms you used (even if you didn’t use the official terms):

Prompt: Rewrite each of the four explanations you wrote for 2.5 to make them more scientifically accurate, using only the four main mechanisms of evolution that we discussed in class and those terms: mutation, gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection. You may need to just change a few words or you may need to completely revise the entire answer, it depends on what you originally wrote.  Important! Banned words for your scenarios include: Need(s/ed/ing), want(s/ed/ing), try(s/ed/ing), best, most, and of course fittest.

1.    How did the mandrill get that colorful face? What about the rear?
2.    How did the colobus monkey get a long, specialized gut?
3.    How did silverback gorillas become twice as big as females?
4.    How did humans become “naked”? (i.e. how did we cease to be as furry as the other primates)?
2.9 – Species and speciation
Assigned Reading/viewing
Planet without apes? – Stanford (Huffington Post)
Additional resources
Primate Speciation: A Case Study of African Apes – Mitchell & Gonder (Nature Ed)
Why should we care about species? – Hey (Nature Ed)
Speciation: The origin of new species – Safran (Nature Ed)
The maintenance of species diversity – Levine (Nature Ed)
Macroevolution: Examples from the Primate World – Clee & Gonder (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, reflect on the reading assignment and explain why apes are in danger of extinction (thoughtful guesses are welcome).

2.10  - Genomics, molecular clocks, and the LCA
Assigned Reading/viewing
Lice and Human Evolution (video; 11 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/1790635347/
Additional resources
The Onion Test – Gregory (Genomicron)
The Molecular Clock and Estimating Species Divergence – Ho (Nature Ed)

Prompt: What are molecular clocks for and how do they work? What do the molecular clocks of lice tell us about human evolution?

**

3. Test and Observe - Evolving humans, past and present. Ancient evidence for our extinct relatives. Human variation.


Big Questions: How did human traits evolve? How and why do humans vary? Should we look to our ancestors as a lifestyle guide? Are we still evolving? Why is human evolution misunderstood and why is it controversial?


3.1 - The earliest hominins
Assigned Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 7: Guts and yolk sacs – Roberts
Desktop Diaries: Tim White (video; 7 mins)
Ancient Human Ancestors: Walking in the woods (video; 4 mins)
Additional resources
How to Become a Primate Fossil – Dunsworth (Nature Ed)
Dating Rocks and Fossils Using Geologic Methods – Peppe (Nature Ed)
Overview of hominin evolution – Pontzer (Nature Ed)
The Earliest Hominins: Sahelanthropus, Orrorin, and Ardipithecus - Su (Nature Ed):

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

3.2 - Australopithecus and Paranthropus
Assigned Reading/viewing
Ardi-Ardipithecus ramidus and human evolution ((video; 3:33 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5c5syi0124
Trowelblazers (blog): http://trowelblazers.com/  
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (blog): http://www.ellencurrano.me/blog/
Additional resources
Lucy: A marvelous specimen – Schrein (Nature Ed)
The "Robust" Australopiths – Constantino (Nature Ed)

Prompt: Find a woman from the ‘Trowelblazers’ blog and briefly (in less than 100 words) describe why she is there. Do the same for ‘An Unsuitable Job for a Woman’.

3.3 - Technological and ecological hypotheses for encephalization
Assigned Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 8: Gonads, genitals and gestation – Roberts
Ancient Hands, Ancient Tools (video; 5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ew9J8lpwo
Additional resources
A Primer on Paleolithic Technology – Ferraro (Nature Ed)
Evidence for Meat-Eating by Early Humans – Pobiner (Nature Ed)
Archaeologists officially declare collective sigh over “Paleo Diet”

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

3.4 - Homo erectus
Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 9: On the nature of limbsRoberts
Additional resources
Homo erectus - A Bigger, Smarter, Faster Hominin Lineage – Van Arsdale (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

3.5 - Neanderthals
Reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 10: Hip to ToeRoberts
Portfolio Assignment
In a half-page or more:  Reflect on Roberts’ chapters and be sure to include what it’s got to do with human evolution.
Additional resources
Archaic Homo sapiens – Bae (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

3.6 - Homo sapiens
Assigned reading/viewing
What happened to the Neanderthals? – Harvati (Nature Ed)
The Neanderthal Inside Us (video; 4 mins)
Additional resources
The Transition to Modern Behavior – Wurz (Nature Ed)
Neanderthal Behavior – Monnier (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, offer an explanation for what happened to the Neanderthals. Where did they go and why?

3.7 - Social hypothesis for encephalization
Assigned reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 11: Shoulders and ThumbsRoberts

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include one thing you knew and one thing you didn’t.

IMPORTANT: For the remaining days, students will also be completing the workbook for the skin color lesson provided by the Smithsonian’s Human Origins team.  (http://humanorigins.si.edu/education/teaching-evolution-through-human-examples ) We’ll be accomplishing it bit-by-bit in class and with assignments to carry on outside of class. The complete workbook is due on the last day of class, in class. I find that having something due then increases attendance for evaluations and  increases the audience for my final, profound thoughts.

3.8 - The evolution of Homo sapiens diversity; Evolution, race, racism, sex, and sexism
Assigned reading/viewing
Testing models of modern human origins with archaeology and anatomy – Tryon & Bailey (Nature Ed)
Additional resources
Anthropological genetics: Inferring the history of our species through the analysis of DNA – Hodgson & Disotell (Evolution: Education and Outreach)
Human Evolutionary Tree – Adams (Nature Ed)
Paternity Testing: Blood Types and DNA – Adams (Nature Ed)

Prompt: In 200 words or more, react to the assigned reading. Include a description of one question that is important and how these authors are going about helping to answer it here.

3.9 - continued
Assigned reading/viewing
Additional Resources

Prompt: Peruse the whole site ‘Understanding Race’ then take the Human Variation Quiz, there, and record all of the correct answers here. (No, you’re not being asked to share how you did on the quiz because many will feel embarrassed.)

3.10 - continued
Assigned reading/viewing
There's no such thing as a 'pure' European—or anyone else – Gibbons (Science)
A lot of Southern whites are a little bit black – Ingraham (Washington Post)

Prompt:  In 200 words or more, react to the assigned readings. Be sure to include your take on whether Gibbons is being literal or rhetorical when she writes “untainted by mixing with immigrants.”

3.11 - continued
Assigned Reading/viewing
From the Belgian Congo to the Bronx Zoo (NPR)
A True and Faithful Account of Mr. Ota Benga the Pygmy, Written by M. Berman, Zookeeper – Mansbach
In the Name of Darwin – Kevles (PBS) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/darwin/nameof/
Are humans hard-wired for racial prejudice?  - Sapolsky (LA Times)

Prompt:  In 200 words or more, react to the assigned readings. What’s the link between racism and evolutionary theory? Is Ota Benga’s treatment justified by evolution? Is equality and peace possible, given our evolutionary history?

3.12 - continued
Assigned Reading/viewing
How Donald Trump Got Human Evolution Wrong – Dunsworth (Washington Post)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/13/human-evolutions-biggest-problems/ 
Peace Among Primates – Sapolsky (The Greater Good)

Prompt:  In 200 words or more, react to the assigned readings. From your point of view, how prevalent is Trump’s take on human evolution in pop culture?  Do you believe it’s harmful? Why or why not?

3.13- continued
Assigned reading/viewing
Humans never stopped evolving – Hawks (The Scientist)
We are not the boss of natural selection – Dunsworth (io9)

Prompt:  In 200 words or more, argue whether or not we’re still evolving. Why is this a question?

3.14 - Conclusions
Assigned reading/viewing
IUB, Chapter 12: The Making of Us - Roberts
Evolution reduces the meaning of life to survival and reproduction... Is that bad? – Dunsworth (The Mermaid’s Tale)

Prompt:  In 200 words or more, briefly describe what you learned this semester and what, if anything, it means to you. Also, be sure to reflect on what you're still left wondering and describe how you could find the answers to your remaining questions.