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Anthropology 1, 001|Spring 2009|UC Berkeley

by Terrence W. DEACON

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ANTHRO 1 LEC 001 Sp09

Customer Reviews

Great course

Really enjoyed these lectures. Very good teacher.

Highly Recommend

I don't usually review anything online, but I felt compelled to do so for this course because I enjoyed it so much. This course covers a wide range of material including natural selection theories, mating habits of all sorts of species, how genes get passed on, human evolution, the role of language in our evolution, the evolution of the human brain and how evolution has not prepared us for the world we live in. Professor Deacon shares his expertise in all of these areas and does so in a very eloquent manner. This course is offered audio only - video would have been nice as there are a lot of video examples and slides shown in the class, but you can get all the points without the visuals.

Great, thought provoking lectures, not what I expected

This was the first course I've ever listened to on anthropology. Not knowing the field at all, I expected a course on the history of human cultures; what this is, rather, is a course on the pre-history of human cultures concentrating on natural and social phenomena in the non-human animal world, including but not limited to other primates. It is very science-oriented in places, which was interesting. Now that I've listened to the whole thing I would call it "foundations for the study of anthropology" (but again, I'm not in this field so what do I know--this is just a descriptor for other people like me so that future listeners know what they're getting).

Deacon is a brilliant scholar, and some of these lectures (such as his lecture on gender [I think it's #6 or 7] and on language [#26]) are superb. There is a good deal of 'housekeeping' matters concerning section meetings, exams, etc. at the beginning of some of these lectures, which is to be expected. I learned a ton listening to these lectures while doing dishes and cooking dinner. I can't wait to read his book, Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter.