Evolution is the central concept in biology. This course examines evolution as a science and places it in an historical context. Lectures focus on descent with modification, the nature of natural selection, the history of the earth, the information content of the fossil record, and processes responsible for diversification (speciation and extinction). The science of evolutionary biology is presented in the context of a broader history of ideas in science. The course also explores the importance of evolutionary thinking in the 21st century, including discussion of antibiotic and pesticide resistance, personalized genomics, climate change, and the conflict between creationists and evolutionists.
Outcome 1: Students should have a basic understanding of evolutionary mechanisms (selection, drift, gene flow).
Outcome 2: Students should have a basic understanding of earth history and of the fossil record, including an appreciation for the time scale over which evolutionary events occur.
Outcome 3: Students should be able to apply the facts and principles of evolutionary biology to new situations, including issues of importance in the 21st century (e.g., antibiotic resistance, influenza virus, personalized genomics, climate change). That is, students should have developed basic critical thinking skills.
Outcome 4: Students should have an appreciation for the history of ideas in evolution and the social/political/religious context in which these ideas first appeared.
Intended for students with no background in college biology. Does not meet evolutionary biology requirement for biological sciences major. May not be taken for credit after BIOEE 1780.
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Previously offered classes
The next offering of this course is undetermined at this time.