evolved  

evolvED If you don't understand how evolution works, or how our species evolved, you're about 150 years behind the science. And if you're not teaching evolution in your biology class, you're omitting the most important concept in the life-sciences. The resources below will get you up to speed on how evolution works and how humans evolved, and get students engaged in the science of human evolution.

understanding & teaching evolution
Understanding Evolution (UC Berkeley) Resources for teaching & understanding evolution.
NOVA Evolution Shorts videos and interviews with scientists explaining how evolution works
PBS Evolution: Online Courses for  Teachers & Students

human evolution
Human Fossil Record by the Nature Education Knowledge Project
Short reviews of several topics in human evolution, including an Overview of Hominin Evolution, a look at Homo erectus, Robust Australopiths, and Homo floresiensis, an Introduction ot Stone Tools, and more.

Human Origins
website by the Smithsonian Institute & National Museum of Natural History
Explore the human fossil record, as well as research on our closest relatives the living primates.  Also provides resources for educators and students.
Becoming Human website by the Institute of Human Origins
Features an Interactive Timeline for exploring the human fossil record, recent news and research in human evolution, and other resources for students and teachers.
How Humans Evolved by Robert Boyd & Joan Silk, 2011
Introduction to the broad field of human evolution, including evolutionary theory, basic genetics, living primates, the human fossil record, and recent human adaptation. Meant for 100-level college courses.

Reconstructing Human Origins, 3rd ed. by Glenn Conroy & Herman Pontzer, 2012
College-level textbook covering the fossil record of our evolution, from the Miocene through the present era.  Full disclosure: Herman Pontzer runs Australopithecus.org
Hominin Skull Viewer by Bone Clones
Allows you to look at 3d images of hominin skull casts and rotate them to look at different features.

games & simulations
Darwin’s Finches by Herman Pontzer & Australopithecus.org
See the changes in allele and phenotype frequencies for beak length in response to user-controlled climatic conditions.  Runs in Microsoft Excel. Directions for the game are here. You must enable macros to play the game.
Population Genetics Simulator by Bob Sheehy, Radford University
Watch allele frequencies change over time as a function of drift, gene flow, selection, and mutation.
Natural Selection Simulator by PhET, University of Colorado at Boulder
See selection and mutation in action as bunnies and wolves collide.

Evolution Lab by Biology in Motion
Watch the evolution of traits over time under user-controlled mutation rates and environmental conditions.

combating Creationism & Intelligent Design
National Center for Science Education
Resources for teaching evolution in K-12 classrooms. Covers political debates and attempts to teach Creationism and Intelligent Design science classes.
NOVA. Intelligent Design on Trial
Covers the 2005 federal court case over the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classes. The judge (Republican appointed by G.W. Bush) rejected the defendant’s claim that Intelligent Design was science.
Flock of Dodos
Documentary covers attempts by religious conservatives to teach Intelligent Design as science.
Kenneth Miller’s Evolution Page
A leading voice promoting and defending the teaching of evolution. Nice pieces on the absurdity of Intelligent Design and other attempts to teach Creationism in science classrooms.
Neil de Grasse Tyson
Dr. Tyson is an astrophysicist and Director of the Hayden Planetarium. He has weighed in on the conflict of religion and science and attempts to teach Intelligent Design in the science classroom.
Talk Origins
Discontinued in 2006, this site still holds lots of useful refutations of common Creationist and Intelligent Design arguments against evolution.

books
Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, 1859. 
The book that started it all. The science is still relevant 150 years later. Also see notes on the text.
The Selfish Gene, 3rd ed. by Richard Dawkins, 2006
A thorough and captivating examination of the mechanism of Natural Selection. A classic.

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution by Richard Dawkins, 2009
Dawkins examines the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution.
Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, 2009
Part travel-log, part textbook, Shubin – a preeminent paleontologist – recounts his work on the origins of land animals, with insights into the evolution our bodies. Website with Powerpoint slides is here.
Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science by the National Academies, 1998
This useful book outlines the importance of teaching evolution and provides an overview of critical concepts and activities for students in the classroom.
Bone by Bone by the Sarah Levine, 2013
Cool children's book showing how evolution works and how vertebrate skeletons share much in common

blogs
John Hawks blog Current research on issues and debates in the field of human evolution.
The Mermaid’s Tale Discussions of role of genes and the nature of evolution (especially in humans).
whyevolutionistrue Recent topics in evolution and the relationship between science and religion.
pandasthumb Topics in evolution; focuses on the silliness of Intelligent Design & Creation “science.”

Australopithecus.org is produced by Herman Pontzer, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Hunter College and the City University of New York. His research focuses on biomechanics and energetics of humans, apes, and fossil hominins. For more on his research, check out his lab website.

Copyright Herman Pontzer 2013

Course Syllabi

Anth105 Human Species
syllabus

Intro to Human Evolution
open source syllabus
by Holly Dunsworth