Introduction to Human Evolution

Provided by:
9/10 stars
based on  3 reviews
Provided by:
Cost FREE
Start Date On demand

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

Provider Subject Specialization
Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
22963 reviews

Course Description

As contemporary humans, we are a product of our evolutionary past. That past can be directly observed through the study of the human fossil record, the materials preserved for archaeological study, and the DNA of living and extinct human populations. This course will provide an overview of human evolutionary history from the present--contemporary human variation in a comparative context--through our last common ancestor with the living great apes, some 5-7 million years in the past. Emphasis will be placed on major evolutionary changes in the development of humans and the methodological approaches used by paleoanthropologists and related investigators to develop that knowledge.

The course will begin by asking basic questions about how evolution operates to shape biological variation and what patterns of variation look like in living humans and apes. We will then look at how the human lineage first began to differentiate from apes,...

As contemporary humans, we are a product of our evolutionary past. That past can be directly observed through the study of the human fossil record, the materials preserved for archaeological study, and the DNA of living and extinct human populations. This course will provide an overview of human evolutionary history from the present--contemporary human variation in a comparative context--through our last common ancestor with the living great apes, some 5-7 million years in the past. Emphasis will be placed on major evolutionary changes in the development of humans and the methodological approaches used by paleoanthropologists and related investigators to develop that knowledge.

The course will begin by asking basic questions about how evolution operates to shape biological variation and what patterns of variation look like in living humans and apes. We will then look at how the human lineage first began to differentiate from apes, the rise and fall of the Australopithecines, the origin and dispersal of the genus Homo, and eventually 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.

Reviews 9/10 stars
3 Reviews for Introduction to Human Evolution

Ratings details

  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

Sort By
Martin Nunn profile image
Martin Nunn profile image

Martin Nunn

10/10 starsCompleted
3 years, 4 months ago
This has got to be one of the best moocs ever produced, very challenging, interesting lab sessions and problems, great forum. With all the fantastic new finds like H.naledi, and the redating of H.floresiensis, I really hope that Professor Van Arsdale produces an updated, or even better, a follow up more advanced course. Great passionate lecturer, great resources, fascinating subject.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Claudio Felicioli profile image
Claudio Felicioli profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 58 reviews
  • 58 completed
4 years, 3 months ago
Adam Van Arsdale has put in this long MOOCs a remarkable effort in making it the most complete and, therefore, the less introductory as possible. Attending this course you will learn about human origins and evolution (and about paleoanthropology itself) from different points of view of different disciplines. Be prepared to study for months teeth and skulls :) At the end, you will gain the unusual, probably useless, skill to immediately recognized human bones structures and classify them based on their evolutionary age of development. Very interestingly cases of the first evidence of several human social behavior are discussed.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag
Jo Kelly profile image
Jo Kelly profile image

Jo Kelly

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 4 months ago
I really enjoyed this course and am very sad it's over. I was extremely impressed by the composition of the lectures, readings, questions, discussions, etc. I have a PhD in biology and numerous other qualifications in areas like business studies. I have also taken a range of other MOOCs. I can honestly say this is just about the most well constructed course I've ever studied and Prof Van Arsdale should be congratulated. Moreover, I had never heard of Wellesley College before, but I have now! I really hope to see further courses on paleoanthropology taught by Prof Van Arsdale in future. He is a consumate communicator of scientific concepts - engaging, accessible and collaborative. In short, a teacher. I have learned a great deal and will look at my fellow humans slightly differently from now on. Thank you.
Was this review helpful? Yes0
 Flag

Rating Details


  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
  • 2 stars
  • 1 stars

Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.