Geoffrey C. Kushnick
BIO A 100
Introduction to evolution by natural selection, examining the light it can throw on human biology and behavior in such areas as the nature of sex differences, sexual conflict, and conflict between parents and children. Does not fulfill major requirements. Offered: jointly with BIOL 108.
In this course, we will examine human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, covering topics related to the role of natural selection, sexual selection, and kin selection in shaping human behavioral adaptations for mating and parenting, diet and consumerism, cooperation and conflict, and other things. We will critically evaluate the major evolutionary approaches used, including evolutionary psychology and human behavioral ecology. We will trace the historical development of the nature-nurture debate, including eugenics and the “sociobiology controversy.”
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
These topics will be explored in lectures, readings, documentary films, and case studies. Assessment is via exam, short assignments, and in-class participation.
Class assignments and grading
Grades will be assigned based on performance on participation and in-class activities, take-home assignments, and exams.