Evolution in America

Betsy Sherman

Fall 2007

Tues., Fri. 8:10 am – 10:00 am


Check back to this website for downloads and updates

Berkeley Evolution Site




-the science of evolution

            what is evolution

                The Peppered Moth, by Ken Miller
                Embryology and Evolution

            is it science?

            what are the units of selection


-what are the criticisms?

            creationist arguments

            intelligent design and the Wedge

                  Intelligent design: a special report from Natural History magazine
                  Carroll on Behe-intelligent design

            Evolution Religion and Free Will
            Padian testimony at Dover trial
            Ken Miller discusses his testimony at Dover trial
            I won't teach evolution
                      Survey given to biology teachers
            Cornell Evolution Project Questionnaire-print it out and submit it on Tues. Nov. 13

            Gould's Non-overlapping magisteria

            Cambrian evolution-molecular arguments
            criticisms from the left
                      The genetics of cognitive abilities and disabilities
                      DNA and prejudice
                      Wild streak-it runs in the family

            the nature of human nature
                        The blank slate-Steven Pinker


-does it matter?



Course requirements


The readings for this course will be taken mainly from a collection of papers that I will either distribute or are to be downloaded from our class website.  Of course, students are encouraged to branch out and do more than the minimum required reading. Students are expected to come to class prepared, having read the assignment carefully so that they can participate in discussions (which also requires keen listening).  Attendance is required.  There is no particular number of classes that you are able to miss.  If I feel that your commitment to the work is insufficient, you will be asked to leave.  Do not be late for class as it disrupts all of us.  There will be several writing assignments to be determined.   From time to time, I may give a brief quiz on the assigned reading at the beginning of a class.  Late papers will not be accepted.  All of the assigned work must be completed in order to pass this course.  If you must miss a class it is your responsibility to get the assignment and come to the next class prepared.  Please do not email me or leave phone messages for trivial matters (e.g. is it ok for me to be late...can you put the assignment in my box...etc.).   Please check my office hours (posted outside my office, Dickinson 108) or make an appointment with me at the end of class.



When you read a paper, read it once to get the argument and then again so that you can take notes.  Try to distill the main point of the paper.  Be sure to write questions that will facilitate our discussion.