PB 694: Special Topics in Evolution.
Creation and Evolution: Differing World Views

Instructor: Dr. Andrea D. Wolfe B & Z 326; ph. 2-0267; email wolfe.205@osu.edu; http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~awolfe/

Office Hours: WF 10:30-11:30 or by appointment

Week 1

Jan. 6 Overview of Course; Creation Myths I.
Jan. 8 Creation Myths II.
Jan. 10 What is Science?

Week 2

Jan. 13 Biology before Darwin and Origin of the universe; Special creation; Natural theology and intelligent design
Jan. 15 Biology before Darwin continued; transmutationists before Darwin
Jan. 17 Biography of Charles Darwin

Week 3

Jan. 22 The Origin of Species. Variation under domestication and nature.
Jan. 24 The Origin of Species. Struggle for existence; survival of the fittest; laws of variation; instinct; hybridism

Week 4

Jan. 27 The Origin of Species. Difficulties of the theory; objections to the theory of natural selection; on the imperfection of the geological record; the geological succession of organic beings
Jan. 29 The Origin of Species. Geographical distribution; mutual affinities or organic beings; recapitulation and conclusions.
Jan. 31 Biology after Darwin. Birth of genetics. (TAKE HOME MIDTERM GIVEN)

Week 5

Feb. 3 Biology after Darwin. Neo-Darwinism.
Feb. 5 Biology after Darwin. The theory of evolution, the unifying principle of biology.
Feb. 7 Biology after Darwin. Theory of evolution continued.

Week 6

Feb. 10Creationism after Darwin. Reaction to Darwin's work in the 1800's (MIDTERM DUE)
Feb. 12 History of the evangelical movement in the United States; the Scopes Trial
Feb. 14 Darwin on Trial.

Week 7

Feb. 17 Arguments against evolution. I. Evolution cannot be proven
Feb. 19Arguments against evolution. II. Second law of thermodynamics; life cannot arise from nonliving matter
Feb. 21Arguments against evolution. III. Natural selection cannot create new characters; mutations are harmful

Week 8

Feb. 24Arguments against evolution. IV. Chance could not be responsible for the origin of complex organisms; new structures have no selective advantages
Feb. 26Arguments against evolution. V. Gaps in the fossil record; living fossils, the fossil record is not an objective time sequence
Feb. 28Arguments against evolution. VI. Transitional intermediates do not exist in the fossil record

Week 9

Mar. 3 Equal balance measures: church vs state?
Mar. 5 Guest speaker
Mar. 7 Guest speaker

Week 10

Mar. 10 Class presentations (TAKE HOME FINAL EXAM DISTRIBUTED)
Mar. 12 Class presentations
Mar. 14 Class presentations


Books for course:

Darwin, Charles. The Origin of Species. Oxford University Press (1996). ISBN 0-19-281783-3.

Futuyma, Douglas J. Science on Trial. Sinauer Associates (1995). ISBN 0-87893-184-8.

Gish, Duane T. Evolution: the fossils still say no! Institution for Creation Research (1995). ISBN 0-89051-112-8.

Johnson, Phillip E. Darwin on Trial. InterVarsity Press (1993). ISBN 0-8308-1324-1.

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.


Take-home midterm: 100 pts
Take-home final: 200 pts

Term paper (due Mar. 10): 100 pts

Class presentation: 50 pts

Total: 450 pts

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

Information about exams:

Exams will be take home and given out at least one week before they are due (see the syllabus). You will have a choice of several questions to answer. You may use whatever resources available to you for the exam, and you should include citations where appropriate. Exams are to be typed, double-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.

Class presentation:

A synopsis of your research paper will be presented to the class. You will have approximately 10 minutes for your talk plus one or two minutes for questions. You may use overhead transparencies, 35 mm slides or any other medium for your presentation.