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BIOL 302z

Analysis of the evidence for evolution and the nature of the process. Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, sociobiology, conflicts and misconceptions regarding evolution, creationism, and evolution of the human body and mind are considered. 3 hours discussion.This is an approved Writing Intensive course. This is an approved General Education Capstone course.


Prerequisites: One biological sciences course.

Pedagogical Approach


Learning Outcomes

A brief history of the development of evolutionary thought; The difference between popular use of the word “theory” and what it means in science to be a “Theory; Major Darwinian principles; The central importance of Evolution in understanding Biology, The importance and function of DNA, RNA, replication, mutation, amino acids, and proteins;  The molecular basis of adaptation and selection; The process of speciation; geography, hybridization and polyploidy; The Tree of Life: its historical origin and major units; How scientists build and analyze evolutionary relationships through phylogenies; The importance of form and function to adaptation; Differences between macro- and micro-scale evolutionary changes; The many aspects of sexual selection - driving forces, sexual dimorphism, competition, female choice; Kin selection, its impact on social behavior, and the evolution of altruism; The evolution of aging and other life history characteristics; Pathogen evolution, human behavior and disease, the evolution of virulence; The Geological Time Scale; The basics of fossil formation and dating; Human Evolution; The importance of Evolution in human health and well being; The interaction between culture and biological evolution; The importance of biodiversity and evolution to sustainability.


Multple choice and short answer and essay exams. 

Diverse writing assignments

class participation and contribution to class discussions

Other Information


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