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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: HUMN551 Course ID: 3529 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course is a study of issues related to genetics, the human nervous system, and artificial intelligence. Course topics include computers, computation, and its limitations; natural and machine intelligence; and the ethical responsibility of the scientist, the politician, the philosopher, and the artist as they relate to emerging issues. Philosophical, ethical, and scientific points of view will be discussed. Readings for this course include selected works of Mary Shelley, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, Paul Churchland, and Edwin O. Wilson, among others.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
09/28/20 - 02/26/21 03/01/21 - 04/25/21 Winter 2021 Session D 8 Week session
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Compose in your own words the basic content and structure of Darwin’s argument.

CO-2: Demonstrate understanding of the information presented in various texts written by Charles Darwin, his predecessors and successors to articulate Darwin’s ideas.

CO-3: Compose the information presented in Web sites related to Darwin, the Origin of Man (American Museum of Natural History) to articulate Darwin’s ideas.

CO-4: Produce a major research paper about the impact of Darwin on the scientific thought of his day and today and Darwin’s influence on philosophy, ethics, and religion.

CO-5: Analyze and write about the use of Literary Darwinism as an effective filter through which to examine literary works.

CO-6: Examine the emergence of new technologies (genomics, robotics, information, nanotechnology), to articulate the latest scientific advances and how they relate to the larger historical context of Darwinian thought.

CO-7: Integrate your cumulative knowledge in a final paper of publishable length and quality.

NameGrade %
Forums 40.00 %
Introduction Forum 4.44 %
Week 1 Forum 4.44 %
Week 2 Forum 4.44 %
Week 3 Forum 4.44 %
Week 4 Forum 4.44 %
Week 5 Forum 4.44 %
Week 6 Forum 4.44 %
Week 7 Forum 4.44 %
Week 8 Forum 4.44 %
Papers 60.00 %
Week 2: Darwin, Science, and Me 12.00 %
Week 4: Creation vs. Evolution 12.00 %
Week 6: Literary Analysis of Frankenstein 12.00 %
Research Paper 24.00 %

Required Readings

Capek, Karel. R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots): A play in introductory scene and three acts.

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.


Students will also be expected to consult The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online: This is a massive Web site containing all the writings of Charles Darwin in English and other languages. Evidence of using this Web site should appear in the papers to be written.

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.