Science of Living Systems 12. Understanding Darwinism
An interdisciplinary exploration of Darwin’s ideas and their impact on science and society. The course links the history of Darwin’s ideas with the key features of modern evolutionary biology. Darwin’s celebrated book On the Origin of Species provided a compelling solution to one of science’s most prominent problems–the origins of biological diversity and of our own species–and a whole new way of viewing the world. The course reviews the development of the main elements of the theory of evolution, highlighting the areas in which Darwin’s ideas have proved remarkably robust and areas in which subsequent developments have significantly modified the theory. By also analyzing the historical context of the development of evolutionary thought beyond Darwin, the course emphasizes the dynamic interplay between science and society.
Note: This course fulfills the requirement that one of the eight General Education courses also engages substantially with Study of the Past.