ANTH& 205 Biological Anthropology • 5 Cr.


An anthropological view of how human biological characteristics arose, our relation to non-human primates, and how we continue to be shaped by evolutionary forces. Major topics include human genetics, adaptation, monkeys, apes and prosimians, fossil evidence for human evolution and the study of biological diversity in contemporary human populations. Either ANTH& 205 or ANTH& 215 may be taken for credit, not both. Note: Fulfills Science course requirement at BC. Previously ANTH 201.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • To demonstrate an understanding of the historical contexts and consequences of natural science and social science concepts developed for and directed at a holistic and comparative approach to human behavior.
  • To recognize, identify, and use the scientific method, in particular, the principles of biocultural evolution, and to distinguish coherent arguments based on such principles from other claims.
  • To show knowledge of the general elementary principles of molecular, Mendelian, and population genetics and their synthesis with evolutionary explanation.
  • To apply contemporary concepts in human biocultural variation and distinguish such approaches from older paradigmatic formulations.
  • To recognize behaviors found throughout the primate order with particular attention to the social ecology of primate behavior.
  • To compare the gross anatomy of modern hominids and non-human primates and gain knowledge of their taxonomic classification.
  • To demonstrate detailed paleoanthropological knowledge of fossil hominoids and hominids, enabling the contrast, comparison, and construction of hypothetical phylogenetic interpretations and the selective evaluation of competing theories of hominization.