Rather than a traditional exam we will be completing a midterm essay. Thus far we covered a range of subjects including genetics, evolutionary theory, primatology, and fossil record (all of which could be a single semester course). The result is that we have only touched the surface on many of these topics. Please type a 1-2 page single spaced essay, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, which illustrates your knowledge of these various themes and feel free to further expand upon what we have learned in the class. Use the following questions as a guide for your essay and be sure to include examples, clear explanations where necessary, outside resources if needed (pull on text, lecture handout, and other assignments). Also, remember that you can critique content, pull in different information and perspectives (include references if possible). The essay will be graded based upon clarity (10 points), organization (10 points), grammar (10 points), critical thinking (30 points), and application of a holistic perspective (40 points). The latter two components are most important, rubric attached below.
1. What is the holistic approach of anthropology? Explain how the four-fields are interconnected and used to research what it means to be human.
2. Explain the concept of natural selection. From an anthropological perspective: how, over time, have we been shaped by the natural environment?
3. What is the relationship between genes and traits? Are connections between genes and physical traits clear cut? How can social and physical environment as well as plasticity/epigenetics impact our biology?
4. Finally, as you think about the first half of this course, which theme did you find most relevant and why? What are the benefits and drawbacks to work being carried out in anthropology, more specifically Biological Anthropology (broad examples: forensic anthropology, medical anthropology, primatology, genetics, human evolution, fossil record)? Explain. You can pull on course content such as text, readings, videos or outside resources.