Social Science


Anthropology 115 Online

Fall, 2014 Dr. Monica Bellas

First 9 Weeks E-mail:

Office and Hours: SS19

T 6:15-7:15 p.m., W 3:30-4:30

Th 12:30-1:30 p.m.

This course covers the major subject areas within the field of Physical Anthropology: Evolution, Primates, Paleoanthropology, and Modern Humans. Physical anthropologists study past and present human variation and evolution through the fossil record. Nonhuman primate biology and social behavior are also studied to draw inferences about human variation and evolution, along with the forces of evolution.

To remain in this class/to add this class:

Your first assignment is due the first day of the session, August 18, 2014, by 9:00 p.m. So that I may ascertain how many people are going to actually “take” the class, people who are enrolled must send me the completed form (see the “Course Assignment” section, beginning on page five). Do not send this message to me until August 11, 2104. If you send it earlier than August 11, I will delete it. Failure to send me this completed form by the due date will result in you being dropped from the class; your spot will be given to another student. To access the class website, go to the Cerritos College website ( and click on the TalonNet icon (on the left side of the page). Follow the directions for logging in.

If you are on the waiting list or wish to be added to an unofficial waiting list, you also must complete the first assignment and return it to me via e-mail ( by 9:00 p.m. on August 18, 2014. I will notify you by e-mail no later than August 20, 2014, if you have been added to the class. Please be aware that I am required to add people to the class in the order they appear on the waiting list first, then I will begin adding students from my unofficial waiting list.


There is one required textbook for this course. Chapters should be read before the student reads the lecture notes and completes the written assignments. All exams will be taken through the class website on TalonNet and are free of charge.

Stanford, Craig, John S. Allen, and Susan C. Anton.

Exploring Biological Anthropology: The Essentials, 3rd ed. Prentice Hall, 2013.

Computer and Internet Requirements

You must have basic computer skills in order to successfully complete this course. This means you must be able to:

· Use web browsers, such as Internet Explorer or Netscape

· Send and receive e-mail, either web-based, through the college, or through your ISP (Internet Service Provider)

· Use a word processing program – Word is preferred, but if you don’t have this program, you must be able to save your work as an .rtf file (Rich text format)

· Manage your files in Windows or MacOS, such as saving, moving, copying, and pasting files

· Successfully negotiate a discussion board

You will also need to be able to troubleshoot software and hardware problems. Failure of your computer is not an excuse for missed assignments.

This course consists of lectures, on-line discussions, written assignments, and online activities. Attendance and participation are extremely important. It is anticipated that students will read all chapters and lectures and will participate in all on-line discussions and written assignments. Students who have consistently “attended” class on-line and demonstrated a desire to learn the material are more likely to receive the “benefit of the doubt” in the case of a borderline grade at the end of the semester.

E-Mail Courtesy

As there will be upwards of 60 students in this section, it is imperative that you follow these directions: Any e-mail sent to me, including written assignments, extra credit, or questions, must have your name and i.d. number listed in the subject lineI will not give credit for any written work without this information in the subject line. If you have a question, I will do my best to reply within 48 hours during the week. In the event you don’t hear back from me within this time frame, PLEASE resend your question.

Scientific Method and Science Viewpoint

This class satisfies the General Education Requirement Area 5 in Biological/Life Sciences. As such, the class is taught from a scientific point of view, using the scientific method (hypotheses building and testing) and scientific facts (verifiable truths). We will be examining biological relationships and behavioral similarities between nonhuman primates (monkeys and apes) and humans, in addition to studying the evolution of hominins (bipedal primates) from the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees and bonobos. While I realize that some of you have a belief system as to how humans were created that may contradict the scientific theory of evolution, in this class you are required to base all of your answers to assignments and test questions on the scientific evidence of evolution, not on your religious ideology. If you find it impossible to segregate your religious beliefs in the context of this course, I would suggest that you drop the class. If you do include your religious ideology in your answer, you will receive a zero on the assignment or test answer.

Writing Skills

This is a college course; as such, you will spend the time necessary to compose essay answers of at least 100 words (use your word count feature in your word processing program to be sure). Failure to do so will result in substantial loss of points. Your essays also must be written in grammatically correct English, have proper spelling, and be logically organized. I will deduct points if your work is not grammatically correct and/or if your spelling is incorrect. Additionally, if your essay is not organized in a logical manner, you will receive a zero on the assignment.

Cheating and Plagiarism

I have a zero tolerance policy for students who cheat or plagiarize, as does the college (see the Academic Honesty/Dishonesty Policy in your class schedule). Cheat or plagiarize in my class and you will receive a failing grade (zero points) on that assignment.

Cheating is defined as follows:

“to deceive or mislead somebody, especially for personal advantage; to break the rules in a game, examination, or contest, in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage” (, 10/30/03)

If you cheat, you will fail the assignment/test and will be referred to the judicial affairs officer. No exceptions, no excuses. Cheating includes, but is not limited to, making up a source, consulting with another student regarding answers to test questions or written assignments, and/or providing answers to another student. You are to submit your own work.

Plagiarism is a type of academic dishonesty and is defined as follows:

“1. stealing somebody’s work or idea: copying what somebody else has written or taking somebody else’s idea and trying to pass it off as original

2. something plagiarized: something copied from somebody else’s work, or somebody else’s idea that somebody presents as his or her own” (, 10/30/03)

This means if you copy someone else’s work and claim it as your own, you are plagiarizing. This includes, but is not limited to, cutting and pasting information from a website or an online article without citing the source, copying information directly from a source without placing it in quotation marks and citing the source, summarizing information from a source without citing it, rearranging a few words or sentences from a source and not citing it. If you do plagiarize, you will receive a zero on the assignment. No excuses, no exceptions.


Grades are based on your performance on tests and written activities. Be sure to keep date and time stamped copies of all the work that you submit to me in case it gets “lost” in cyberspace. Each student will be responsible for providing me with proof of a completed assignment in the event that you do not receive credit for your work.


There will be four tests for this course. Tests will consist of multiple choice and true/false questions. The tests will be timed; you may not use your notes or your book for the exam. If you don’t complete the test within one hour (the allotted time), the test will “close” and you won’t be able to complete the questions. I would suggest you watch your time carefully when completing the test. Each test will be worth 50 points. These tests will be available on the TalonNet class website; the study guides will also be available on the class website.

No make-up tests will be given. I drop your lowest test score. If you miss more than one (1) test, you will receive a zero (0) on the second and subsequently missed exams.

Tests will be due by 9:00 p.m. on the second day following the posting of the questions. For example, your first test takes place on August 28, 2014. Your completed answers will be due by 9:00 p.m. on August 29, 2014. I will not accept late tests. It is in your best interests to complete the test as soon as possible and click on the “Submit Answers” button well before the deadline time. All tests will be time-stamped, and if your test is sent after 9:00 p.m. on the due date, you will receive a zero. It will be up to the student to verify with the instructor that the test has been received.

Written Activities:

We will be engaging in two kinds of written activities during the session: individual assignments and group assignments. All of your reading and writing assignments are listed under “Lessons” on the TalonNet website; some will be submitted through the “Assignments” portion of the website while others will be posted to the “Discussion Board.” “Lessons” will direct you as to how to submit your assignment.

Both types of assignments must be completed by 9:00 p.m. on the days they are due. Due dates are the dates I have listed under “Lessons” and in your syllabus. For example, your first assignment is listed under August 18, 2014 and is due no later than 9:00 p.m. on August 18, 2014. Late assignments will not be accepted. It will be up to the student to verify with the instructor that the assignment has been received. All written assignments will be worth 20 points each.

Individual assignments need to be completed at home individually and submitted via the TalonNet class website to the instructor by 9:00 p.m. on the day they are listed in your syllabus. These activities are worth 20 points each. Answers must consist of the following:

· a well-organized, grammatically correct, properly spelled essay of at least 100 words in your own words

The grading scale will be based on the following criteria:

· You failed to answer the question (0-4 points)

· Lots of work is still needed (5-8 points)

· Some key elements are missing (9-12 points)

· Good effort, but still lacking some elements (13-16 points)

· Outstanding (17-20 points)

Group assignments are those written assignments that will be completed as a group. I will e-mail your group members’ names, together with e-mail addresses, by September 2, 2014. You will work as a group to complete the assignment and submit it for grading by 9:00 p.m. on the day listed in your syllabus. I will not accept work by individuals. All of these assignments MUST be completed as a group. Late assignments will not be accepted. Posted answers must consist of the following:

· a well-organized, grammatically correct, properly spelled essay of at least 100 words

· the names of participating group members

How you work with your fellow group members is up to you. I would suggest that you:

· contact each other frequently via e-mail

· don’t wait until the night before the assignment is due to write your answer

· choose a different group leader for each assignment – this person might be responsible for organizing the communications between group members and for posting the final answer to the discussion board

· all agree to the content of the final answer prior to its posting on the discussion board

Group assignments are worth 20 points. I will grade each group answer based on clarity, logic, content, grammar, and spelling for a possible total of twenty (20) points. All contributing members of the group will receive the same score, regardless of their participation in constructing the answer. The grading scale will be based on the following criteria:

· You failed to answer the question (0-4 points)

· Lots of work is still needed (5-8 points)

· Some key elements are missing (9-12 points)

· Good effort, but still lacking some elements (13-16 points)

· Outstanding (17-20 points)

Extra Credit:

You will have the opportunity to earn a total of 25 points in extra credit during the course of the six week session using any combination of the following: For each newspaper/magazine article published within the last two years (provide me with the link via e-mail []) that deals with some aspect of physical anthropology, you will receive five points.


You may also spend time at the zoo, observing and documenting great ape behavior and the time it occurred for up to 25 points. You must observe the behavior of one of the great apes – a gorilla, an orangutan, a chimpanzee, or a bonobo – and write down the activity the ape engaged in, together with the time it occurred. For instance:

12:00 p.m., chimp jumped on a rock

12:02 p.m., chimp watched the people watching him

12:05 p.m., chimp climbed off the rock and knuckle walked to another chimp

12:06 p.m., chimp began grooming the other individual

and so on.

You may not observe the behavior of more than one of the apes, nor may you switch exhibits (for instance, watch a chimp for an hour, an orangutan for another hour, and a gorilla for ½ hour). Pick one ape and stick with it. E-mail your behavior log to me (; for each ½ hour that you document its behavior, you will receive 5 points.

All extra credit will be due no later than 9:00 p.m. on October 6, 2014. It is in your best interest to send in your extra credit as soon as possible; if your article or website is not acceptable, but you turn in the address prior to the due date, you will have a second chance to resubmit another for extra credit. If you wait until the due date, you won’t have a second chance.

While I do not grade on a curve for your assignments, I do grade on a modified curve for your exams. I will take the highest score for each exam and that will be the total points possible for the exam. Cheating or plagiarism will result in an automatic “F” (zero points) for the assignment or exam and referral to the judicial affairs officer. Your grade will be calculated on the following scale: 90-100 % A, 80-89% B, 70-79% C, 60-69% D, 59% and below F.

Technical Problems

You may (or may not) experience problems with accessing the website. The server may be down – the reasons are myriad. This is why I have included in this syllabus a schedule of what your assignments are, and when they are due. If you cannot access the website, for whatever reason, please e-mail your assignment directly to my Cerritos account: mbellas@cerritos.eduMake sure you include your name and student identification number in the subject line! Include a short note explaining that you couldn’t access the website. Then contact the Distance Education Office and notify them that the website is down (562-860-2451, extension 2837).

In the event you cannot access the TalonNet website for exam questions on the day they are available, e-mail me immediately. I will then make sure that you do get access to the questions in a timely fashion.

It is the student’s responsibility to turn in all assignments and exams on time, even if the website is down!

Course Syllabus

I am listing your reading and writing assignments here for the class. The assignments will be found on the course website under “Lessons” on the TalonNet class website. Be aware that you must access the website in order to receive all of the information listed here. Additionally, I will only accept assignments that come through the TalonNet class website (unless the website is down – see above).

Week 1 Module One

8/18 E-mail/Discussion Assignment due

If you are enrolled in the class or on the official waiting list:

As we will not be meeting in person for orientation, you must submit the following paragraph via e-mail in order to remain in the class. In other words, I will be using your submission of the following paragraph as a way to check initial attendance (do not submit prior to August 11, 2014). If you do not submit this page to me by 9:00 p.m. on 8/18/14 through the TalonNet class website, I will drop you from the class and begin adding people from the waiting list. GO TO “ASSIGNMENTS” TO SUBMIT THIS ASSIGNMENT.

I have read the information contained in the on-line syllabus for the Physical Anthropology (Anth. 115) On-Line class, Fall, 2014, taught by Dr. Monica Bellas. I agree to all the terms and conditions set forth therein, and have had a chance to ask Dr. Bellas about any questions I do have.


(Your Name)

(Your Student Identification Number)


If you are on the official wait list or wish to be added to the class:

Copy and paste the paragraph above, filling in the pertinent information, and send to me via e-mail ( no earlier than August 11, 2014.

Reading: Chapter 1: Introduction: What is Biological Anthropology?

Lecture Notes I and II (on TalonNet website under “Resources”)

8/20 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due

So that all of you understand how to treat others online, go to the following website ( ) and read the rules of Netiquette. Summarize these rules in an essay and send to me. GO TO “ASSIGNMENTS” TO SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY.

Reading: Chapter 2: Origins of Evolutionary Thought

8/22 Reading: Chapter 3: Genetics: Cells and Molecules

Lecture Notes III and IV (on TalonNet website under “Resources”)

Having problems understanding the basics of genetics? Visit the following website:

Don’t understand the difference between mitosis and meiosis? Visit the following website:

Week 2 Module One cont’d.

8/25 Reading: Chapter 4: Genetics: From Genotype to Phenotype

Lecture Notes V (on TalonNet website under “Resources”)

8/26 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

To better understand how important Mendel’s original research was, visit MendelWeb ( and read the first four sections of his paper. What are your overall impressions of Mendel’s research? GO TO “DISCUSSION” TO POST YOUR ESSAY.

Reading: Chapter 5: The Forces of Evolution and the Formation of Species

How does natural selection work in humans? Visit Watch the video on sickle cell anemia (15 minutes).

To better understand how bacteria can acquire drug resistance (besides mutation), go to Click on “Launch Video.” (The video lasts 9 minutes.) Take notes.

8/27 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

Visit Watch the video on the pocket mouse (10 minutes). Explain how natural selection has affected the coat colors of the mice. GO TO “DISCUSSION” TO POST YOUR ESSAY.

8/28 Test 1 (Chaps. 1-5) Click on “Test and Quizzes” on the TalonNet class website to access the exam. Due 8/29/14 at 9:00 p.m.

Week 3 Module Two

9/2 Check your e-mail for your group assignment

Readings: Chapter 7: The Primates

Lecture Notes VI (on website under “Resources”)

Lecture Notes VII (found on website under “Resources”)

Go to Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Discover Your Inner Animals.” Be patient, it may take a while to load. On the human figure, click on the “glowing” eye and watch the five minute video on color vision. Be sure to take notes.

9/3 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

To better understand the genetic relationships between the great apes and humans, go to Scroll down the page to “Chromosome Connection.” Do the activity “Comparison of Human and Ape Chromosomes.” When completed, look at chromosomal and gene (“banding”) patters. In the first column, you’ll see that orangutans share the least in common with humans. How closely related are orangutans to gorillas? chimpanzees? How closely related are humans to the gorillas and chimps? What does this tell you about the evolution of today’s great apes and humans?

9/4 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

Individually visit the following primate web site (, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Enter”) and investigate the monkey category (make sure your choice is a monkey, not an ape or prosimian). Pick one and read the description, and then use a search engine to find out more information, such as habitat, diet, social behavior, location, etc. Summarize this information. GO TO “ASSIGNMENTS” TO SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY.

Readings: Chapter 8: Primate Behavior

Lecture Notes VIIa, VIIb, VIIc (found on website under “Resources”)

Week 4

9/8 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

To better understand how closely all primates are related to one another, in your small groups answer the following question: Do monkeys and apes have minds? Discuss the evidence and consider the implications of how we (humans) treat these animals. Group Leader: GO TO “DISCUSSION” TO POST YOUR GROUP’S ESSAY.

9/9 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

Individually, go to Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Learn How We Stood Up,” then “Building Bodies,” then assemble the human and chimp skeletons by clicking and dragging the bones. What are the similarities between these skeletons? the differences? (These should be your observations, not those that are listed in this website.) GO TO “ASSIGNMENTS” TO SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY.

Readings: Chapters 9: Geology and Primate Origins

Lecture Notes VIII (on website under “Resources”)

9/11 Test 2 (Chaps. 7-9) Click on “Test and Quizzes” on the class website to access the exam. Due 9/12/14 at 9:00 p.m.

Week 5 Module 3

9/15 Reading: Chapter 10: Early Hominins and Australopithecus

Lecture Notes IX (on website under “Resources”)

Go to Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Discover Your Inner Animals.” Be patient, it may take a while to load. On the human figure, click on the left thigh and watch the five minute video on bipedalism. Don’t forget to take notes.

Go to and click on “Watch the documentary.” (Don’t forget to take notes.) Stop it when you get to the information about Homo erectus.

Want to learn more about Australopithecus afarensis? Go to the following websites:

9/18 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

In your small group, go to the following website: and compare and contrast the postcranial anatomy (in this case, from the waist down) of chimps, Australopithecus africanus and Homo sapiens. Group leader: GO TO “DISCUSSION” TO POST YOUR GROUP’S ESSAY.

Go to and read about how diet influenced the development of the brain. (Don’t forget to take notes.)

Go to Smithsonian Institution ( to learn more about hominin phylogeny.

Go to and watch the first “Becoming Human” show.  It runs about 50 minutes; don’t forget to take notes.

Week 6 Module Three cont’d.

9/22 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

In your small group, answer the following questions: Should H. habilis and H. rudolfensis be called human? What criteria would you establish for the use of the term? Group leader: GO TO “DISCUSSION” TO POST YOUR GROUP’S ESSAY.

9/23 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

To better understand early hypotheses about bipedalism, answer the following question: Why do paleoanthropologists now reject the hypothesis that bipedalism evolved due to the shrinking forests of Africa? Describe at least two other hypotheses that are currently being investigated. GO TO “ASSIGNMENTS” TO SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY.

9/25 Test 3 (Chap. 10) Click on “Test and Quizzes” on the class website to access the exam. Due 9/26/14 by 9:00 p.m.

Week 7 Module Four

9/27 Reading: Chapter 11: Rise of the Genus Homo

Lecture Notes X (on website under “Resources”)

Go to the “Nova” website ( and watch the video “Becoming Human: Part 2.” Don’t forget to take notes.

Visit this website to view more pictures of fossil hominins:

10/1 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

To better understand how hominins are grouped together in the same genus and species, go to the site for the Nariokotome Boy (sometimes referred to as Turkana Boy) ( and describe the aspects that are Homo erectus-like. Compare and contrast him with the skulls from Java and China. (Use your own observations; keep in mind the essay that accompanies these skulls are based on the observations of a Creationist.) GO TO “ASSIGNMENTS” TO SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY.

(Follow these directions if the link in “Lessons” is not working:

Go to

Click on “Browse the Archive”

Click on “Human Evolution”

Scroll down the screen to “Table of Contents” on the left side of the page

Click on “Hominid Fossils”

At the top of the page, in the box, click on “Homo erectus”

Scroll down the page until you find KNM-WT 15000 and click on that link

Read about the fossil, and then scroll down that page to the following links:

“Compare Turkana Boy with Java Man”

“Compare Turkana Boy with Peking Man”)

Go to the Nova website ( and watch the video on the “Little People of Flores.” (Homo floresiensis.) Don’t forget to take notes.

Week 8 Module Four cont’d.

10/6 EXTRA CREDIT DUE by 9:00 p.m.

Reading: Chapter 12: Archaic Homo sapiens and Neandertals

Lecture Notes XI (on website under “Resources”)

Go to this website to test your knowledge about prehistoric life:

10/7 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

Many would argue that Neanderthals were capable of engaging in ritual behavior. In your small group, go to and read the arguments for and against these behaviors. Argue for or against this proposition. Group Leader: GO TO “DISCUSSION” TO POST YOUR GROUP’S ESSAY.

10/9 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

There have been many hypotheses about Neandertals’ place in the human lineage. Go to and click on “Watch the Program.” (The video lasts about one hour. Be sure to take notes.) Answer the following questions: Neandertals have been depicted as brutish, stupid, and violent in both academia and the media. Describe three lines of evidence from the video that refute these notions. GO TO “ASSIGNMENTS” TO SUBMIT YOUR ESSAY.

Week 9 Module Four cont’d.

10/13 Reading: Chapter 13: The Origin, Emergence, and Dispersal of Homo sapiens

Why can’t some people consume milk (are lactose intolerant)? Go to Watch the video on how the culture and genes interact with one another (15 minutes). If this link doesn’t work, cut and paste the web address into your computer.

10/14 E-mail/Discussion Assignment Due:

Visit Lascaux, France (  Be patient, it may take a while to load.  (It should not take more than five minutes to load. Be sure to enable pop-ups on your computer.) Click on “A Visit to the Cave” and then take the Virtual Visit.  Examine the cave paintings.  Keeping in mind Margaret Conkey has proposed the animals that are depicted were not hunted (not evident in the animal bones that were butchered by these people), what were the painters trying to communicate and why?  GO TO “DISCUSSION” and post your answer to the TalonNet Discussion Board and comment on at least two other students’ responses (your comments should be meaningful and not just “I agree with what you said”).

10/15 Reading: Chapter 14: Evolution of the Brain and Behavior

10/16 Test 4 (Chaps. 11-14). Click on “Test and Quizzes” on the class website to access the exam. Due 10/17/14 by 9:00 p.m.


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