Lecture, exam, and reading schedule

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0 SYLLABUS 196 Fall 19

ANTH 196: Biological Anthropology

Course Information

ANTH 196, Section 0002

Biological Anthropology

3 credit hours

Class # 73162

Fall Semester, 2019

Monday-Wednesday-Friday 11:15am-12:05pm

Anthony Seeger Auditorium 0025

Instructor Information

Instructor: Dr. Richard R. Lawler

Office: 209 Sheldon Hall

Office hours: Wednesday 3-4:30; Friday 2:30-3:30pm and by apt.

Email: lawlerrr@jmu.edu

Course Description and Goals

Hello and welcome to ANTH 196: Biological Anthropology. This course is an introduction to the field of Biological Anthropology. In this course we will look at the place of humans within the animal kingdom. Accordingly, we will cover topics that allow us to fully understand our place in nature. Such topics include basic transmission and population genetics, the processes of evolution, primate diversity and socioecology, primate and human evolution, and modern human variation. This course is satisfies a cluster 3 (The Natural World) requirement for the general education program at JMU. After completing this course, in addition to the specific subject matter and lecture topics, students should also be fluent in these broader concepts:

  • Describe the methods of inquiry that lead to mathematical truth and scientific knowledge and be able to distinguish science from pseudoscience.

  • Illustrate the interdependence between developments in science and social and ethical issues.

  • Use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret natural phenomena.

  • Discriminate between association and causation, and identify the types of evidence used to establish causation.

  • Evaluate the credibility, use, and misuse of scientific and mathematical information in scientific developments and public-policy issues.

Requirements and Policies

Required Texts

There is no required textbook for this course. Tests will be drawn from the course lecture notes. Students are encouraged (but not required) to buy a used copy of a fairly recent edition of any Biological Anthropology textbook. Some options include, “Introduction to Physical Anthropolgy by Robert Jurmain et al.; “Introduction to Biological Anthropology by Craig Stanford et al.; How Humans Evolved by Robert Boyd/Joan Silk; Our Origins: Discovering Physical Anthropology by Clark Larsen; The Human Species by John Relethford.


You are required to take four hourly exams and one cumulative final exam. The four hourly exams will each count for 20% of your final grade. Each hourly exam is NOT cumulative. The cumulative final exam counts for 20% of your final grade. The exams cover material presented in lecture and any additional material from films, guest lectures, etc.

In short, your grade is based on the following:

Four hourly exams: 20% of your final grade (20% each) (50 questions on each exam)

One cumulative final exam: 20% of your final grade (80 questions on final)
Dates of exams:

Exam 1: Friday, September 20th

Exam 2: Monday, October 14th

Exam 3: Monday, November 11th

Exam 4: Friday, December 4th (NOTE: this is the last day of class)

Final exam: Wednesday, December 11th 10:30am to 12:30pm in our classroom

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