Saturday, June 13, 2009

Biological Anthropology - Berkeley

In my days as a student I have learned a little bit of cultural anthropology. Thanks to a course on Berkeley I have learned much of the missing component in my knowledge, that of biology. Aptly, the course is called An introduction to Biological Anthropology, or simply anthropology 1. As in number 1, the course to kick anthropology off. (feed)

So it is really the basics that I lacked and were added here. The importance of evolution for the human beings and their social behavior. The way in which human evolved and what all of this means for humanity today. It is something that I completely overlooked, that the rural habitat seems an eternity for man in comparison with industrial and urban modernity. However, in terms of evolution, these are a blip on the human clock and this essentially means, man is physically shaped to be a hunter gatherer.

Nevertheless, and this is the strength of the course and I recommend especially the last lectures for this subject, the recent developments of agriculture and industrialization are still significant biologically. They imply a radical change of the habitat and consequently completely different constraints on genetic developments. So even if our history is too recent and almost too short for out biology, there is an effect. All of this leads to better understanding of human beings and their society.
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