Illustration of the evolution of man from earlier primates
MLAP 31210

Human Origins: From Early Primate Beginnings to Evolutionary Medicine

Available Section

Offered for
05:00 pm—06:00 pm
Remote via Zoom
Taught by
Robert Martin

Human beings are members of the order Primates, a distinctive group of mammals that originated around 80 million years ago. Within the primate evolutionary tree, the branch leading to the human species split from the sister lineage leading to our closest biological relatives, the chimpanzees, approximately 8 million years ago. Even under modern living conditions in industrialized societies, this extensive evolutionary history remains highly relevant, particularly for human medicine.

The course is designed to provide an introduction to evolutionary processes among as primates in general, to the evolution of our own species in particular, and to the special features that emerged during emergence of the human lineage. Both living primates and their fossil relatives will be considered within an overall framework that allows confident interpretation of human evolution. Evidence from anatomy, physiology, behavior, chromosomes and molecular biology will be reviewed in an accessible manner, with appropriate attention to key theoretical issues.

A key aim of the course, particularly through individual presentations by class participants, is to provide training in reading, interpreting and synthesizing scientific literature on selected themes.

  • Fulfills the Core - Biological Science requirement

About the Professor

Robert Martin - Headshot

Robert Martin