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Internet Exercises
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Investigating the Nature of Humankind
American Anthropological Association
a. How does the AAA define the field of anthropology?

b. What are some of the sections and interest groups of the AAA?

c. Click on “Academic Relations” and then on the link to “What do Anthropologists do?” What are some of the potential careers in anthropology? Who hires practicing anthropologists?

d. What are the new developments in Anthropology shown in the “Members in the News” portion of the front page?

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National Center for Science Education
a. What is the National Center for Science Education?

b. What are some of the ongoing legal battles regarding the teaching of evolution?

c. Click on resources and read the article titled “Facts, Faith and Fairness”. How do the authors define “science” and “religion”? Is “creation science” science?

d. Feel free to read any of the other listed articles.

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There are many journals and magazines that have articles available on line.

a. Go to the site for Nature magazine. What new article relates to the field of Anthropology? Summarize the article.

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There are many journals and magazines that have articles available on line.

a. Go to the site for Science magazine. What new article relates to the field of Anthropology? Summarize the article.

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History of Evolutionary Theory (UC Museum of Paleontology)
a. Under “Founders of Natural Science” click on van Leeuwenhoek. How did he improve the microscope? What observations did he make?

b. Under “Great Naturalists of the 18th Century” click on Comte de Buffon. What was his view on change? What did he see as the relationship between humans and apes?

c. Under “Preludes to Evolution” click on Lamarck. How did Lamarck think that evolution took place?

d. Under “Natural Selection” Click on Alfred Russell Wallace. Explore the FAQ. What was the relationship between Darwin and Wallace? Did they influence each other’s work?

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Age of the Earth (from USGS)
a. What is the current estimate for the age of the earth?

b. What is this date based on?

c. Where have the oldest rocks ever found one earth been found?

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About Darwin
a. Where did the HMS Beagle go on its voyage?

b. What year was Darwin born?

c. What are some of the things that Darwin studied?

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Evolution of camouflage
a. What are examples of mimicry, camouflage and disguise that can be found in nature?

b. What is the importance of the environment for camouflage?

c. Watch the video. What animal is shown? What is it camoflouged as?

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Intelligent Design (evolution of the eye)
a. How can the evolution of complex characteristics be explained?

b. How do scientists think the eye evolved?

c. How long ago did the first animal with something approaching an eye live?

d. How many years do scientists estimate it would have taken to develop a camera-like eye from a light-sensitive patch?

e. Watch the video. What are the stages in eye evolution? What animals alive today show eyes at one of these earlier stages?

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Evolution Misconceptions
Go to and read the Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution from the Talk.Origins Archive

a. What evidence does the page present that evolution has been observed?

b. What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics? How does it relate to biological evolution?

c. How does this page explain the gaps in the fossil record?

d. What role does chance play in evolution?

e. In what way is evolution considered a "theory"?

f. Do you find the arguments presented on this page convincing? Why or why not?

g. For further reading, feel free to explore the Talk.Origins page and its more complete FAQ at

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Cultural Perspectives on Evolution
a. What were some of the early views of the natural world?

b. What is the evidence for evolution?

c. What are some of the misconceptions about evolution? Choose any two of these and discuss why they are misconceptions.

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Physical AnthropologyOnline Learning Center

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