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Human Evolution: Past and Future (2 of 5)

This meetup series is to discuss material presented in the Massively Open Online Course (MOOC), Human Evolution: Past and Future, presented by Professor John Hawks of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The course is free (sign up here) and includes several hours of videos every week. We'll meet every two weeks (the first meetup covers only the first week) to discuss the previous two weeks worth of material.

Course Description:

"This course covers our evolutionary history across more than seven million years, from our origins among the apes up to the biological changes that are still unfolding today. If you enroll, you'll encounter the evidence for the earliest members of our lineage, as they begin the long pathway to humanity. You'll see how scientists are learning about the diets of ancient people, using microscopic evidence and chemical signatures in ancient teeth. We will explore together the exciting fossil discoveries of the last ten years, which have shaken up our notions of the origin of human culture and our own genus. 

Genomics has fundamentally transformed the way we understand our evolution, in many ways opening the direct evidence of our history to anyone. The course will teach you how to look inside the genomes of humans, Neandertals and other ancient people. If you have used personal genomics to get your own genotypes, the course will guide you in connecting genetics to your ancestry among ancient humans.

The course brings a special focus on the rapid evolutionary changes of the last 10,000 years. You'll learn about the consequences of our shift to agriculture, and the ways that people of industrialized nations are still changing today. At the end, we trek forward to anticipate what evolutionary changes may be in store for humanity in the future, using our knowledge of history and scientific understanding to inform our speculations."

Meetup Schedule:

First Meetup: 1/26/14 - Week 1

Second Meetup: 2/23/14 - Weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5

Third Meetup: 3/9/14 - Weeks 6 and 7

Fourth Meetup: 3/23/14 - Weeks 8 and 9

Fifth Meetup: 4/6/12 - Week 10 and Summary

Schedule is subject to change. Watch for meetup updates via email.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Scheduling conflict on this date.

    February 15, 2014

    • Chris W.

      Yeah...we always loose conflicts. See you next time!

      February 23, 2014

  • Caidyn and C.

    I'm not taking the course but I'd like to come listen to the discussion. Is this ok?

    1 · February 22, 2014

    • Chris W.

      Absolutely! I'm wearing a black, polo shirt and should have an iPad with our logo. See you there!

      February 23, 2014

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