Week 2 Schedule

The Search for Ancestral Origins

Week 2 | Lectures:

  • Lecture 1: Antiquarians and Ancestors [watch]
  • Lecture 2: The Missing Link [watch]
  • Lecture 3: Life in the Stone Age [watch]
  • Lecture 4: Out of Africa [watch]
  • Lecture 5: Becoming Human Part 2 [watch]

Week 2 | Videos:

Week 2 | Web Readings:

Week 2 | Blog Assignment: don’t forget you can attach weblinks and pictures to your blog! Also categorize as Week 2!!

  • In 300 to 400 words, write your blog on the science behind early Hominin studies, and answer the following questions:
    • Thinking carefully about the various fossil finds and frauds, and accepting for the moment that evolution is, indeed, fact, what do we REALLY know about the various early Hominin species and their relationships to modern Homo Sapiens?  If there are problems with what we know, what is a diagram like this trying to demonstrate?  Ultimately, what is your opinion of the evidence of these early human hominid finds and the arguments that they are either directly or indirectly related to modern Homo sapiens?  Use the language of science and the scientific method.
    • As a last comment, how do you think that Piltdown represent a failure of the scientific community of the time?

Week 2 | Blog Comment: 

  • For this week, and the remainder of the semester, you will pick one person’s blog to respond to – using the reply button – that resonates with you in some way.  Your response to their blog – 250 to 300 words – will be constructive either in support or against the particular position(s) that they argue.   If someone has already responded to a particularly blog you are interested, try to find another one to respond to.  In future weeks, you must pick a different person, so keep track of whose blogs you have responded to. 

Week 2 | Comprehensive Essay:

  • In your three to five page essay pick a Hominin from the early period (7 to 3 million years on the Becoming Human interactive timeline), a second from the middle period (3 million to 1 million years), and a third from the late period (1 million to zero years) that does NOT include Homo sapiens.  Select them from the Becoming Human interactive timeline and use that as a starting place to discuss the following:
    • For your three species trace developments in the three areas of 1) anatomy/biology, 2) technology, and 3) social behaviors and compare them to each other.  How do these developments demonstrate the trajectory of Hominin evolutionary development towards modern humans?  What are the things that are similar and what, of each of your three species is still foreign to what we understand as ‘human’?

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