A Textbook-free 'Introduction to Biological Anthropology'

A Textbook-free 'Introduction to Biological Anthropology'

Holly Dunsworth at Mermaid’s tale blog put together an wonderful commentary with free and online materials. Her audience is anthropology students, but others can also benefit from the materials on evolution. Especially, pay attention to unit 2.

Here are the topics. You can access the links from her blog post.

Unit 2.

Explaining the similarities and differences. How evolution works.

Why are we like our parents but not exactly? Same for other species: why are we like them but not exactly? How did human traits evolve? What is our “inner fish” etc.? What was the last common ancestor (LCA) between humans and chimps like? How do we know when and where it lived?

2.1 Inheritance: Chromosomes

Assigned reading/viewing

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 3: Handy Genes - Shubin

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 4: Teeth Everywhere - Shubin

YIF: The Evolution of Your Teeth (video; 3 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohq3CoOKEoo

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 5: Getting ahead - Shubin

YIF: Our Fishy Brain (video; 2.5 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207797/

Journal Assignment

In a page or more: What did you learn about how to do paleontology from the reading? What does he mean by your “inner shark”?

Lecture Resources

Developing the Chromosome Theory O Connor (Nature Ed)


Genetic Recombination Clancy (Nature Ed)


2.2 Inheritance and gene expression: DNA, RNA, proteins

Assigned reading/viewing

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 6: The Best-Laid (Body) Plans - Shubin

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 7: Adventures in Bodybuilding - Shubin

Journal Assignment

In a page or more: What are Hox genes and what do they have to do with linking a fruit fly to you? What is one benefit of being a sponge?

Lecture Resources

What is a Gene? Colinearity and Transcription Units Pray (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/what-is-a-gene-colinearity-and- transcription-430

RNA functions Clancy (Nature Ed)


Hox Genes in Development: The Hox Code Myers (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/hox-genes-in-development-the-hox- code-41402

2.3 Inheritance and gene expression: Mendelian genetics

Assigned reading/viewing

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 8: Making Scents - Shubin

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 9: Vision - Shubin

YIF: Finding the Origins of Human Color Vision (video; 5 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207765/

Your Inner Fish, Chapter 10: Ears - Shubin

YIF: We Hear with the Bones that Reptiles Eat With (video; 4 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/2365207244/

Journal Assignment

In a page or more: Is it fair to say that when you smell something, that something is touching your brain? Why is it called the eyeless gene if you can have it and still have eyes? How does hearing work? What does your ear do besides hear, and how? What does drinking lots of alcohol do to your ears?

Lecture Resources

Gregor Mendel and the Principles of Inheritance Miko (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/gregor-mendel-and-the-principles-of- inheritance-593

Mendelian Genetics: Patterns of Inheritance and Single-Gene Disorders Chial (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/mendelian-genetics-patterns-of- inheritance-and-single-966

2.4 - The reality of inherited traits = Complexity; Hox genes and development

Assigned reading/viewing

Things Genes Cannot Do Weiss and Buchanan (Aeon)

http://aeon.co/magazine/nature-and-cosmos/kenneth-weiss-anne-buchanan- genetics/

Insanity: genes ‘versus’ environment as causes Weiss (The Mermaid s Tale)

http://ecodevoevo.blogspot.com/2014/06/insanity-genes-versus-environment- as.html

Developmental Plasticity and the Hard-Wired Problem Clarkin (kevishere)

http://kevishere.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/developmental-plasticity-and-the- hard-wired-problem/

Journal Assignment

In a page or more: Reflect meaningfully on these articles and highlight something that you already knew, but also the things that you learned that are brand new to you.

Lecture Resources

Phenotypic Range of Gene Expression: Environmental Influence Lobo and Shaw (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/phenotypic-range-of-gene-expression- environmental-influence-581

Genetic Dominance: Genotype-Phenotype Relationships Miko (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/genetic-dominance-genotype-phenotype- relationships-489

Pleiotropy: One Gene Can Affect Multiple Traits Lobo (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/pleiotropy-one-gene-can-affect- multiple-traits-569

Polygenic Inheritance and Gene Mapping Chial (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/polygenic-inheritance-and-gene- mapping-915

What Works Works. But What Works?: Genomes as works in progress Weiss (Evol Anth) Posted on Sakai

2.5 - Population genetics and evolution

Assigned reading/viewing

Paleofantasy , Intro - Zuk

Paleofantasy, Chapter 1: Cavemen in Condos - Zuk

Journal Assignment

Scenario worksheet, 1 - Located at end of syllabus

In a page or more: What’s the point of Zuk s book? How familiar are you with “paleo” diet and other kinds of lifestyle choices that fall under that umbrella?

Lecture Resources

Mutations Are the Raw Materials of Evolution Carlin (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/mutations-are-the-raw- materials-of-evolution-17395346

Natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow do not act in isolation in natural populations Andrews (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/natural-selection-genetic- drift-and-gene-flow-15186648

Neutral Theory: The null hypothesis of molecular evolution Duret (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/neutral-theory-the-null-hypothesis- of-molecular-839

2.6 - Natural selection

Assigned reading/viewing

Paleofantasy, Chapter 2: Are We Stuck? - Zuk

Journal Assignment

In a page or more: What does Zuk mean by, “are we stuck?” and what’s the answer?

Lecture Resources

Negative selection Loewe (Nature Ed)


2.7 - Sexual selection, Modern Synthesis, and more on epigenetics

Assigned reading/viewing

Paleofantasy, Chapter 3: Crickets, sparrows, and Darwins- or, evolution before our eyes - Zuk

Journal Assignment

Scenario worksheet, 2 - Located at end of syllabus

In a page or more: How can natural selection explain the silent crickets?

Lecture Resources

Sexual selection Brennan (Nature Ed)


2.8 - Recent human evolution: Malaria resistance and lactase persistence

Assigned reading/viewing

Paleofantasy, Chapter 4: The perfect paleofantasy diet: Milk - Zuk

Journal Assignment

Wisdom Teeth worksheet - Located at end of syllabus

In a page or more: How can natural selection explain lactase persistence?

Lecture Resources

Natural Selection: Uncovering Mechanisms of Evolutionary Adaptation to Infectious Disease Sabeti (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/natural-selection-uncovering- mechanisms-of-evolutionary-adaptation-34539

2.9 - Understanding evolutionary mechanisms; Building evolutionary scenarios

Assigned reading/viewing

Evolution is the only natural explanation Dunsworth (The Mermaids Tale)

http://ecodevoevo.blogspot.com/2013/06/evolution-is-only-natural- explanation.html

The F-words of Evolution Dunsworth (The Mermaids Tale)


Another F-word of evolution Dunsworth (The Mermaids Tale)


Mutation not natural selection drives evolution Tarlach (about Nei; Discover Mag)

http://discovermagazine.com/2014/march/12-mutation-not-natural-selection- drives-evolution

Journal Assignment

Drift vs. Selection worksheet - Located at end of syllabus

In a page or more: Reflect on what you already knew and, more importantly, what you learned from each of the readings that’s new.

2.10 - Species and speciation

Assigned reading/viewing

Primate Speciation: A Case Study of African Apes Mitchell and Gonder (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/primate-speciation-a-case- study-of-african-96682434

Journal Assignment

In a page or more: What are some hypotheses for how or why the African apes, including humans, diverged? Why might gene trees and species trees not agree with one another?

Lecture Resources

Why should we care about species? Hey (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/why-should-we-care-about- species-4277923

Speciation: The origin of new species Safran (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/speciation-the-origin-of-new- species-26230527

The maintenance of species diversity Levine (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/the-maintenance-of-species- diversity-13240565

Macroevolution: Examples from the Primate World Clee and Gonder (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/macroevolution-examples-from- the-primate-world-96679683

2.11 - Genomics, fused chromosomes, molecular clocks, and the LCA

Assigned reading/viewing

Lice and Human Evolution (video; 11 mins) http://video.pbs.org/video/1790635347/

Time Tree: http://www.timetree.org/

Journal Assignment

Speciation and molecular clocks worksheet - Located at end of syllabus

Lecture Resources

The Onion Test Gregory (Genomicron) http://www.genomicron.evolverzone.com/2007/04/onion-test/

The Molecular Clock and Estimating Species Divergence Ho (Nature Ed)

http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/the-molecular-clock-and-estimating- species-divergence-41971

Written by M. //