EEOB 710
Creation and Evolution: Differing Worldviews
5 hrs (17529-1)

Spring Quarter 1999
MWF 9:30 to 11:18

Instructor: Dr. Andrea D. Wolfe
B & Z 326

The theory of evolution is the unifying principle of biology. However, evolution has also become one of the most controversial topics over the past 150 years since the publication of The origin of species by Charles Darwin in 1859. Beginning with the Scopes Trial in the 1920's, the teaching of evolution in the American school biology curriculum has been repeatedly challenged by groups and individuals who believe in the special creation of organisms (creationists; "scientific creationism"). More recently there has been a revival of the "creation by intelligent design" viewpoint.

The course objectives include:

1. Presention of a historical perspective on the debate surrounding evolution preceding and following the publication of The origin of species.

2. A review the philosophical differences inherent in discussions of religion and science.

3. An examination of the major current issues in the creationist, intelligent design, and evolutionary biology world views.

Information will be presented on: the creation myths of major cultures from throughout the world, the scientific method and philosophy of science, the history of biology focussed on evolution theory, and what has become known as "scientific creationism" and creation via "intelligent design." A synopsis of The origin of species will be given over the course of several lectures as will the major arguments presented for creationism and intelligent design.

The course will be divided into several segments that focus on:

1. Creation myths and the philosophy of science
2. History of biology before and after Darwin's era as it relates to the development of evolution theory;
3. An in-depth examination of The Origin of Species;
4. The impact of "Origin" on biology and the neo-Darwinism era with the "synthesis" of natural selection and genetics research;
5. The history of fundamentalism in the Christian religion of the United States;
6. Arguments for scientific creationism;
7. Arguments for intelligent design.


Behe, Michael J. 1996. Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. The Free Press
Darwin, Charles. 1859. The Origin of Species. Modern Library Edition
Dawkins, Richard. 1996. Climbing Mount Improbable.W. W. Norton & Co.
Dennett, Daniel C. 1995. Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Simon & Schuster
Futuyma, Douglas J. 1995. Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution. Sinauer.
Gish, Duane T. 1995. Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No! ICR.
Johnson, Phillip E. 1993. Darwin on Trial. InterVarsity Press.
Kitchner, Philip. 1982. Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism.MIT Press.

Week 1 (3/29, 3/31, 4/2)

Lecture 1Overview of the Course; Creation Myths
Lecture 2 Philosophical Overture: What is Science? Origin of the Universe

Reading Assignments for Week 1 Discussion: Futuyma 1-43, 161-174; Kitchner 1-6, 30-54; Dennett 17-25; Johnson 113-170; Gish 1-23; Behe 237-253.

Week 2 (4/5, 4/7, 4/9)

Lecture 3History of Biology I. Setting the stage for Evolution; Natural Philosophers & Naturalists
Lecture 4History of Biology II. Setting the stage for the Argument for Design; John Locke, William Paley

Reading Assignments for Week 2 Discussion: Darwin 5 -17 (Historical sketch); Dennett 26 - 60; Futuyma 44 - 67; Kitchner 7 - 9; Behe ix - 13.

Week 3 (4/12, 4/14, 4/16)

Lecture 5History of Biology III. Charles Darwin and company
Lecture 6 History of Biology IV. More about Chuck

Reading Assignments for Week 3 Discussion: Darwin 18 -23 (Introduction); Dennett 61-145; Dawkins 198-255.

Week 4 (4/19, 4/21, 4/23)

Lecture 7 The Origin of Species. Variation under domestication and nature
Lecture 8The Origin of Species Struggle for existence; survival of the fittests; laws of variation; instinct; hybridism

Reading Assignment for Week 4 Discussion: Darwin 24-210; 317-404 (Ch. 1-5, 8-9)

Week 5 (4/26, 4/28, 4/30)

Lecture 9The Origin of Species. Geographical distribution; mutual affinities of organic beings.
Lecture 10The Origin of Species. The geological record

Reading Assignment for Week 5 Discussion: Darwin 405-612 (Ch. 10-14); Futuyma 68-113; Johnson 45-87

Week 6 (5/3, 5/5, 5/7)

Lecture 11The Origin of Species Recapitulation and conclusions
Lecture 12Biology after Darwin -- the great synthesis and Neo-Darwinism

Reading Assignments for Week 6 Discussion: Darwin 612-650 (Ch. 15); Dennett 149-331; Kitchner 9-29; Johnson 15-32.

Week 7 (5/10, 5/12, 5/14)

Lecture 13History of the Fundamentalist movement in America (I)
Lecture 14 History of the Fundamentalist movement in America (II)

Reading Assignments for Week 7 Discussion: Johnson 1-14; catch-up on Origin.

Week 8 (5/17, 5/19, 5/21)

Lecture 15Darwinism comes to America -- responses and trajectories
Lecture 16 Young earth Creationism

Reading Assignment for Week 8 Discussion: Darwin 212-316 (Ch. 6,7); Futuyma 175-207; Kitchner 55-123; Johnson 15-74; Gish 25-82.

Week 9 (5/24, 5/26, 5/28)

Lecture 17 Theistic evolution
Lecture 18 Intelligent Design I -- morphological complexity

Reading Assignments for Week 9 Discussion: Dawkins 3-37, 73-107, 138-197; Kitchner 124 164; Behe 3-97; Futuyma 114-160.

Week 10 (6/2, 6/4)

Lecture 19 Intelligent Design II -- biochemical complexity
Lecture 20 Science and Religion

Reading Assignments for Week 10 Discussion: Dawkins 38-72; Kitchner 165-202; Dennett 453 521; Futuyma 208-228; Behe 187-231.

Additional class material:

I will post interesting links, updates on assignments, thoughts of the day, and supplemental material at this URL. If you do not have access to the web, please see me about alternative forms of communciation.


Discussion leadership: 100 pts


Take-home midterm: 100 pts (Due May 10th)
Take-home final: 200 pts (Due June 8th)

Term paper (due June 4): 100 pts

Total: 500 pts

93-100% A
90-92% A-
83-86% B
87-89% B+
80-82% B-
77-79% C+
73-76% C
70-72% C-
67-69% D+
60-66% D
00-60% E

Information about:

Discussion leadership:

Because of the amount of reading assigned for the quarter, I recognize that it is unlikely that each student will have the opportunity to read everything in such a short time. Therefore, each week the Friday discussion will be led by a small group of students who will read the assigned readings and will summarize the readings in a useful manner for the rest of the class. This does not mean that students shouldn't attempt to read everything -- the more readings accomplished, the better the discussion periods for all concerned.


Exams will be take home and given out at least one week before they are due (see above). You may use whatever resources available to you for the exam, and you should include citations where appropriate. Exams are to be typed, single-spaced, with appropriate headings if applicable.

Term paper:

The choice of research topic (in the framework of evolution and creation) is up to you, but I would like to review the subject for your term paper with you before you start to work on it. This is to reduce the amount of duplicate material presented in class and to help you in finding appropriate topics and/or resource information if necessary.

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Last updated 1 April 1999.