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HUMN551 - Evolution of Life and Intelligence

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
04/29/19 - 10/04/19 10/07/19 - 12/01/19 Fall 2019 Session B 8 Week session
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 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.

Translated into English by David Wylie. eBooks@Adelaide, 2006.

E-text: https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/c/capek/karel/rur/

Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus.

E-text: http://etext.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/SheFran.html

Students will also be expected to consult The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online: http://darwin-online.org.uk/contents.html. 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.

Additional Resources

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed. NY: The Modern Language Association of America, 2009.

Strunk & White, Elements of Style.

Accessible through The Online Library. Important Note: The Master of Arts in Humanities program requires conformity with the 7th edition of the MLA Handbook.

Websites

In addition to the required course texts the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

All About Creation

http://www.allaboutcreation.org/human-evolution.htm

Becoming Human

http://www.becominghuman.org/

Biological Anthropolog y Tutorials

http://anthro.palomar.edu/tutorials/biological.htm

Carroll, Joseph, “An Evolutionary Paradigm for Literary Study”

http://www.umsl.edu/~carrolljc/Documents%20linked%20to%20indiex/Target%20Pieces

/1_Target_article.htm#1

The Complete

http://darwin-online.org.uk/contents.html

Works of Charles Darwin Online

Darwin Corresponde nce Project

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/

Dawkins, Richard: The Blind Watchmaker

http://www.terebess.com/keletkult/The_Blind_Watchmaker.pdf

Evolution: A Journey into Where We’re from and Where We’re Going

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution

Genomics Directory

http://www.genomicsdirectory.com

Human Evolution and the Fossil Record

http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/evol.html

Human Genome Project

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/home.shtml

Intelligent Design Network

http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org

Interesting Developmen t: Darwinian Literary Criticism

http://leisureguy.wordpress.com/2007/03/04/interesting-development-darwinian- literary-criticism/

Max, D.T.,

“The Literary Darwinists”

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/06/magazine/06darwin.html?pagewanted=4

National Technology Initiative

http://www.nano.gov

Nature

http://www.nature.com/nature/ancestor/

Radical Evolution

http://deoxy.org/meme/RadicalEvolution

Robotics

http://www.thetech.org/exhibits/online/robotics

Talk Origins Archive

http://toarchive.org

Book Title:Darwin, A Norton Critical Edition, 3rd Ed
ISBN:9780393958492
Publication Info:W.W. Norton & Co.
Author:Darwin, Charles / Appleman, Philip (Ed.)
Unit Cost:$30.30

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.