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ANTH 2020 Introduction to Physical Anthropology 2


Jonathan A. O’Brien, Ph.D.



This course focuses on human evolution, variation, and adaptation in a global and environmental perspective. To truly understand the human species, our focus on human biology will span from genetics and organismal biology to population level variation. We will address questions such as: how does the genetic code translate into human characteristics? Does the term ‘race’ make sense when describing human variation? How has our life cycle evolved? What are we ‘supposed’ to eat, and how do our lifestyles today map onto what was shaped by our evolutionary history?


After completing this course students will understand:

  • Describe the ways in which evolutionary forces have shaped variation among modern human populations today
  • Define the relationship between human variation and the environment

More generally, this course will contribute to your development of:

  • Employing scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills
  • Recognizing global and cross-cultural perspectives, where modern human diversity is analyzed from an evolutionary perspective.


Exploring Biological Anthropology: the Essentials (3rd Edition) by Craig Stanford, John Allen, and Susan Anton.


  • 4 Exams: 50%
  • 14 Quizzes: 20%
  • 10 Discussion posts: 30%
  • Total: 100%


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