top of page


Napa Valley College Catalog Description:

ANTH 120 AND 120-L (4 units) This course introduces students to the theories, methods, and applications of biological anthropology. Topics include the scientific method, principles of evolution and adaptation, human genetics, human osteology, hominin species and the fossil record, and the anatomy and behavior of living non-human primates. CSU, UC

The goal of these courses is to introduce students to the foundational concepts, methods, and relevance of biological anthropology. Ever wonder who we are and how we got here, and what's with these strange opposable thumbs? You already know something about genetics, but what about epigenetics? How can we share over 99% of our DNA with a chimpanzee? Does the Hobbit Man really exist? What anatomical and behavioral differences do we have from Neanderthals?


We will explore all of these questions and more! The central focus of this class is the scientific study of human origins. We will cover the history, concepts, methods, and theory of biological evolution and adaptation and apply these ideas to the genus Homo in a lecture and laboratory setting. There is a specific focus on molecular, Mendelian and population genetics, human variation, primate taxonomy and classification, and ethical issues in biological anthropology. The philosophy of science and the scientific method serve as the primary intellectual foundations of this course.


bottom of page