Biology | Evolution
L318 | 6093 | Raff, R

Spring 2011
Professor Rudolf Raff

Evolution traces the history of life and the evolutionary forces
that have shaped us and the modern world.  The course will focus on
questions that come mainly out of macroevolution, that is, evolution
above the species level.  Macroevolution is what most people
envision as evolution.  In the course we will consider the age of
the Earth, geological time, the fossil record, transitional fossils,
and the origins of major groups of organisms (including humans).
The course also presents important aspects of microevolutionary
processes.  Microevolution looks at the processes that drive
evolution as they operate within populations, and speciation.  The
aspects of microevolution to be discussed include Darwinian
selection, mutation, and genetic events.  Finally, the course
discusses evolutionary issues that face our modern world,
extinction, global warming, human population growth, and evolution
of new diseases and antibiotic resistance by bacteria.