Biology | Heredity, Evolution and Society
L369 | 4139 | Hudson, R
Course format: Daily lectures: (10:30A-11:20A, JH 239). Also includes
occasional small group discussions.
Requirements: No course prerequisites. Familiarity with basic algebra
skills is beneficial.
Course description: This course examines evolution by natural
selection (and other forces) both as a basis for explaining human
biology, behavior, and society, and as a framework for understanding
our interactions with other species. The evidence for this theory in
general and for the evolutionary descent of humans in particular will
be addressed. The course will explore in detail how changes in gene
types and abundances can underlie the evolution of complex traits such
as the sexual and social behaviors of humans and other animals. Other
topics include how parasites, pathogens and parasitic genes have
affected human evolution, how human activities such as the over-use of
antibiotics are in turn affecting pathogen evolution, and how other
activities that reduce and eliminate plant and animal populations have
some surprising ramifications. Development in modern genetics that
affect human society and out environment, such as the genetic
engineering of crops, will also be investigated.
Required Text: “Human Genetics, Concepts and Applications” by Ricki
Lewis, fourth edition. McGraw Hill and one popular science paperpack
to be chosen from list by student in class.
Weekly assignments: Two-three chapters of the text along with readings
of selected articles.
Exams/papers: Two non-cumulative exams and one cumulative final. These
will include application and conceptual questions in addition to those
requiring recall of course material. Other graded components include
quizzes, article summaries, worksheets, and class participation.