BIO 558: Biological Basis of Human Evolution and Behavior
Understanding Human Evolution & Its Implications to our Behavior and History
This course is fast-paced and comprehensive with the content and workload expected of a University graduate course including global mastery of the subject matter. This course may be taken as either CEB553 or BIO558.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: An exploration of biological theories of human evolution, properties, and behavior. We build an understanding of evolution of complex organisms by natural selection, followed by the emergence of humans as a uniquely complex species. Scientific hypothesis formation and testing using the extensive multidisciplinary empirical record of the 1.8 million years of human history is developed throughout. Implications of human evolutionary biology for contemporary social and sexual behavior are also investigated.
An approved content component of the Stony Brook University Biology MAT program, the Biochemistry Master’s Program, and the Journalism Master’s Program (3 Credits). Appropriate for Continuing Education Credit for Science Teachers.
Major objectives of this course:
1. Explore a powerful evolutionary theory of the origin of human uniqueness. Covered are the implications of this theory for our biological and social properties including the evolution of our large brains, language, unique sexual behavior, our history, economics, politics and all empirical evidence supporting this theory. The scientific implications are profound and unite the social and natural sciences into a coherent whole.
2. Engage students of all disciplines in the process of science – learn and participate in how we define theories, collect evidence and use that evidence to test these theories by subjecting them to skeptical public questioning. In this portion of the course, via discussions, you will be asked to critically think and debate varying interpretations of the empirical evidence in relation to the science being brought to your attention.
See http://www.deathfromadistance.com/ for more content information
How is the course administered?
The course is administered through a combination of the Blackboard Course management system and the Streaming Tutors Digital EDU-PACK subscription purchase. The Digital EDU-PACK includes video lectures, study questions, animations, and interactive questions. Subscription purchase is to registered students only. Detailed administrative procedures will be given during the required in-person orientation.
This course requires good time management skills, excellent scheduling skills, and ability to work on your own as well as being part of an online group.
[TOPIC 1] Humans - how are we unique and how unique are we?
[TOPIC 2] We know what life is – a special case of chemistry
[TOPIC 3] How genes build animals - the essential fundamentals and their implications
[TOPIC 4] How and how fast does natural selection actually work in the real world of sexual animals like us?
[TOPIC 5] How evolution produces animals that cooperate
[TOPIC 6] Kin-selected behaviors in humans
[TOPIC 7] Kinship-independent social cooperation – the fundamental, unique human adaptation
[TOPIC 8] Human sexual behavior – How we are like other animals – I
[TOPIC 9] Human sexual behavior – How we are unlike other animals – II
[TOPIC 10] Human childhood – More on how we are unlike other animals- III
[TOPIC 11 & 12] How and when we became human – the fossil record – I and II
[TOPIC 13] Human language – cooperation and information exchange – I
[TOPIC 14] Human language – cooperation and information exchange – II
[TOPIC 15 & 16] Extragenetic Information and the Uniquely Human Mind/Brain
[TOPIC 17] Introduction to a theory of history – how and when humans arose and spread around the world
[TOPIC 18] The behaviorally modern human revolution
[TOPIC 19] The bow, the sling and "“neolithic" revolutions. – I
[TOPIC 20] The bow, the sling and "“neolithic" revolutions. – II and Shock weaponry, body armor and "empire" – I
[TOPIC 21] Shock weaponry, body armor and "empire". – II
[TOPIC 22] Guns, cast iron and the emergence of the "modern state"
[TOPIC 23] Aircraft, rocketry and the emergence of pan-global human cooperation
[TOPIC 24] Final considerations - The contemporary world and a sustainable human future
Biology ONLINE: Life Sciences Rm. 380, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-5215 - 631 632-8548