Biology | Heredity, Evolution and Society
L369 | 4136 | Welch, N


Course format: Daily lectures (10:30A-11:20A, JH 239) during which
discussion and student participation will be encouraged.

Requirements:  Familiarity with the World Wide Web and Basic algebra
skills are beneficial. Students enrolling in this course should have
good study skills and the discipline for self-directed learning.  The
lectures in this course are not a recitation of the assigned reading.

Course description: This course examines the theory of evolution by
natural selection in light of human activities. We discuss how genetic
variation is created, why genetic variation is critical in times of
environmental change, and how human activities have placed many species
in danger by reducing their numbers and, in turn, reducing their
genetic variation.  We consider how genes code for tangible phenotypes
(proteins) and intangible phenotypes (behavior) and how both of these
phenotypes are subject to natural selection.  We also discuss how human
actions, such as over-prescription of antibiotics, influence the
evolution of species, such as antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria,
and the ramifications of those actions on our own species.

Required Text: Starr, C. and Taggart, R.  2001.  Cell Biology and
Genetics.  9th edition. Starr, C. and Taggart, R.  2001.  Ecology and
Behavior.  9th edition. Starr, C. and Taggart, R.  2001.  Evolution of
Life.  9th edition.

Weekly assignments: Two-three chapters of reading.

Exams/papers: There will be four non-cumulative take-home exams.  The
exams include application and conceptual questions in addition to
factual recall questions.  Other graded components of this course
include class participation (both in class and on-line) and pop
quizzes.