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ENV 248 Darwin's Dangerous Idea: The Nature of Science and the Theory of Evolution

Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the nature of science and the theory of evolution. Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology, and unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. Notwithstanding the importance of evolutionary biology, no other field of science has been more questioned and misinterpreted. Students will be introduced to the nature of science as an evidence and logic-based process. What is a hypothesis? What is the relationship between fact and theory? Why is the theory of evolution, despite being so controversial, one of the best theories in the history of science? The theory of evolution will provide a frame to learn to identify, analyze and evaluate different forms of deductive and inductive arguments and to detect common mistakes in reasoning. In addition to biological aspects of the theory of evolution, students will be introduced to the historical, social and philosophical implications. The course extends the traditional classroom lecture/discussions structure by requiring an experimental component to engage students in first hand classroom activities, field study, and visits to museums. In the end, students will be able to construct a conceptual map of evolutionary thought and correct many common misconception about the theory of evolution and since in general.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall, odd years


3 credits