HIS 350L • Biology and Human Nature Since Darwin-W
This course will explore how biologists have explained human nature to their fellow humans since the publication of Darwin's Origins of Species (1871). Are people innately aggressive or altruistic? How far is human behavior rooted in biology? How much freedom do we have to defy that biology? Is it inheritance or the development of individuals through time that does most to determine how people turn out? How much can we learn about ourselves from studying other species? Biologists have answered these and other important questions in changing ways; we will look at some of them, beginning with Darwin and continuing through the development of evolutionary psychology in the 1990s.
Weekly writing assignments 10% Class participation 15% Research skills quiz 10% Short paper 20% Long paper 30% Presentation 10% Peer review of papers 5%
Course Reader Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1st Edition facsimile. Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1st Edition facsimile. Robert J. Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior Stephen J. Gould, The Mismeasure of Man E. O. Wilson, Sociobiology Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steele