Introduction to Human Evolution

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Wellesley College




Free (certificate fee: USD$ 50, optional)

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This course provides an overview of how the forces of evolution have shaped patterns of biological variation in the human fossil record. It is offered by Wellesley College through edX, an online education platform.

The course elaborates on major evolutionary changes in the development of humans and the methodological approaches used by paleoanthropologists and other researchers to develop that knowledge. It discusses the rise and fall of the Australopithecines; the origin and dispersal of the genus Homo; and the radical evolutionary changes associated with the development of agricultural practices in the past 15,000 years. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to the primary data, places and theories that shape our understanding of human evolution.

Some of the course contents are:

  • Major events in human evolutionary history
  • Details of the human fossil, archaeological, and genetic records
  • The methods scientists use to reconstruct evolutionary history