A Layman’s Study of Human Evolution

Facilitator: Mary McClintock, 484-5163, mcclintockm@comcast.net
Dates: Tuesdays, September 9 - October 28, 2014
Time: 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM 
Text: Evolution, the Human Story by Dr. Alice Roberts, 2011, about $16.00 on Amazon. (Highly recommended)


How do paleoanthropologists know where we came from? Did you know that the genome of modern 
Homo sapiens contains 1-4% of the genome of Neanderthals and that 27 different hominins went extinct and we are the only surviving species? This class will cover the first hominin of 6 million years ago up to
modern humans and all the forms in between. We’ll discuss the techniques of paleontologists and the most 
famous discoverers/discoveries since the time of Darwin. Toolmaking, the current theories of human 
evolution, the cave art of “CroMagnon,” and Otzi (the frozen man) will be covered. We’ll discuss the DNA 
work that has shown the mitochondrial Eve, the migrations of humans demonstrated by studies of the Y 
chromosome, and the groundbreaking work of Svante Paabo. Any of these topics could be subjects of a 
single required 25-minute presentation by class members. Non-technical is OK! Some choice of subject 
for presenters will be possible. A video of “The Journey of Man” and a Ted talk by Paabo will be part of the 
course.