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The Darwinian Revolution

The publication of Charles Darwin's famous book, On the Origin of Species, has often been viewed as a pivotal event in both the history of biology and the broader history of civilization. This course explores the validity of the claim of a Darwinian "revolution," examining the state of evolutionary thought before and after Darwin's famous publication. We will follow two chief aspects of evolutionary thoery: its scientific twists and turns, and its significance as a broader cultural way of thought, with both religious and sociopolitical implications. At the border between these two realms lies the subject of human evolution, which will form a third distinct theme in the course. Coverage will extend across Britain, Europe, and America, and across audiences from elite scientists to the broader reading public. While concentrating mainly on the nineteenth century, the course will also take the story forward through the 'Modern Synthesis' of evolution and genetics in the 1940s to recent issues. 3 cr./ junior standing or consent of instructor.

History of Science
The Darwinian Revolution
Nyhart, Lynn