Biological Anthropology: An Evolutionary Perspective : The Great Courses: Biology

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Barbara J. King
  • Series: The Great Courses: Biology
  • 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Who are we? It's a question humankind has been asking about itself for a long time.
But when we consider ourselves not as static beings fixed in time, but as ever-changing creatures, our viewpoint of human history becomes much more captivating. The question is no longer "Who are we?" but "What have we become? And what are we becoming?
"What makes this new viewpoint possible is the evolutionary perspective offered by biological anthropology, through which we study the evolution, genetics, anatomy, and modern variation of the human species. In this series of 24 captivating lectures, an award-winning teacher and acclaimed scholar delves into the story of how, why, where, and when we became human.
You'll gain a fresh understanding of the forces that have shaped our species, as Professor King synthesizes the best that more than a century of scientific scholarship has to offer across a variety of disciplines, including primate anatomy and behavior - to understand evolution and to learn more about our common ancestor - and molecular anthropology, to gain the insights offered by fossils, ancient skeletal remains, and lifestyle information like cave art and stone tools.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good for a historical perspective - but be careful

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Perhaps, if I knew the friend was aware of more recent genome work. Obviously in a science book we have to expect the material to go out of date, and unlike literature - it matters if we are hearing a period piece. This is a very good course, presented very well and with an engaging style - but - when I came to the author/reader's choices (when a equally weighted evidence argument was available) from Neanderthal onwards, she had come down on the wrong 'side' (based on recent genomics). Not her fault, just a sign that this course is now quite dated because of recent leaps in discovery. It made me question her other decisions and whether I was learning an outdated view.


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I did not know much about habilis and erectus before, so that was my favourite part - also some of the sociology of the people (e.g. the Leakey family) making the fossil discoveries (I'm more familiar with Paabo et al.).


Would you listen to another book narrated by Professor Barbara J. King?

Yes, I'd like to hear an update based on the last decade of discveries.


If this book were a film would you go see it?

Possibly, but it would more likely be on the Discovery Channel.


Any additional comments?

As an academic, I don't read (or write) textbooks any more in my area (genomics, bioinformatics) because they go out of date before they are published. I'm not being critical here, I'm just suggesting that a reader should be following up - it really is a good listen but treat it as a snapshot and follow up....

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- Sean "Peripatetic Phenotyper"

Excellent course

Excellent course which I can recommend to anyone interested in the field. It is comprehensibly and wonderfully presented. Many thanks to the lecturer!
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- Mario

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses