HC 101H: Evolution in Science and Society

Professor: Samantha Hopkins

4.00 credits

• CRN 16607: Monday & Wednesday, 1015-1145 @ ALL 140

This class examines the critical idea of evolution by natural selection, its development as a scientific concept, its application and misapplication to a variety of other fields. We will ground our study in the structure of the theory of evolution by natural selection, but will follow the development of the theory and the ways in which it was enhanced and transformed through further biological and geological discoveries. We will also explore some of the extensions of natural selection thinking into other disciplines and consider some of the ways in which the ideas do and don’t fit into these alternative frameworks. Finally, we will discuss the societal controversies over the place of evolution in science curricula and the process of finding meaning in life. 

This course will emphasize the development of research and writing skills in the liberal arts; we will use evolution as a touchstone and a core idea around which to ground our discussions, but a major subject of study will be how to take an interdisciplinary, scholarly, liberal arts approach to studying big ideas and solving problems.