SYLLABUS: BIOLOGY 4220. Evolution.
Fall 2012. Zeigler. UNCP
An introduction to, and analysis of, the concepts of organic evolution. Mutation, adaptation, selection, competition,
and origin of species are considered. 3 sem. hrs.
Grades will come entirely from 4 exams which will cover lecture material, handouts, and assigned readings. Each exam will count 25% and the last exam will not be comprehensive. Grading will be done on a ten-point scale (90-100 = A, etc.) with +s and -s assigned as in: B- = 80-82.9, B = 83-86.9, B+ = 87-89.9. Other than a few bonus points that occur on exams, no extra credit is available in this course.
Required TEXT: Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. There will also be many handouts which will be posted on Blackboard. You will need to print these out in advance and bring them to class--preferably three-hole punched and in a 3-ring binder.
ATTENDANCE: This is a senior-level course in which we will cover material of some depth and complexity. Since you should be adults by now, I choose not to reward or punish students for their attendance habits. You should be here to learn and to do your very best. As Science and Biology students you should be curious about, and interested in, the course material. Be here--or suffer your own consequences. Missed class notes will not be available from me. If you have emergencies which prevent you from being here, especially during a test day, please notify me as soon as possible before or after they occur. The school does at times cancel classes for all or part of a day, usually due to bad weather. To find out if classes are running as usual, call the University Hotline at: (910) 521-6888.
Behavior: I expect you to be aware of the contents of the Academic Honor Code, found in Section IV. Rights and Responsibilites of the Student Handbook (online and hardcopy), and its wording on cheating, plagiarism, academic dishonesty, and the Code of Conduct. I especially stress that you should be in class to take notes, ask questions,
give input when it is pertinent, and to give your attention to what is being presented in the class. Any continued/repetitive form of disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. You need to be respectful of the material presented and of your fellow students who have come to learn the material. As laid out in the Student Handbook under Code of Conduct (items 15 & 17), disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Should disruptive behavior become excessive, you will be asked to leave the classroom, and you must seek permission from me before reentering the class on the next class day. Continued problem behavior will be reported to the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, and you may be administratively withdrawn from the class. Do not bring food or drinks to class. Water bottles will be allowed.
ETC. Please turn off your cell phones, or put them on vibrator mode if expecting an emergency call, during class time. Please check with me beforehand if you plan to have someone visiting class with you. You are not allowed to leave class during an exam without clearing your problem with me--you can't just walk out and come back.
DISABILITY: Any student with a documented learning, physical, chronic health, psychological, visual or hearing disability needing academic adjustments is requested to speak directly to Disablility Support Services and the instructor as early as possible in the semester, preferably within the 1st week. All discussions will remain confidential. Please contact: Disability Support Services, DF Lowery Building, Room 103 or call 521-6695 for an appointment.
* to understand the nature of science more fully
* to learn and understand the basic mechanisms and terminology of organic evolution
* to understand the evidence which supports the theory of evolution
* to understand how Darwin and Wallace arrived at the theory of natural selection
* to understand the process of speciation
* to understand something of the biodiversity that has resulted from the evolutionary
process, as well as how the science of systematics attempts to elucidate that biodiversity.
* to learn how the fossil record documents some evolutionary changes exceptionally well.
* to understand how evolutionary thought has been applied to behavior, molecular
biology, psychology, genetics, medicine, etc.
TENATIVE COURSE SYLLABUS
Introduction and the Nature of Science.
Brief history of the idea of Evolution in biological & other contexts
Artifical vs. Natural Selection--Dogs & Antelopes
Burgess Shale--Religious Views
Darwin's theory of Natural Selection
Importance of Evolution to Biology
Brief history of life's changes and diversity over geologic time
Extinction: Cases & Causes.
Homology and Convergence
Genetics--Classical and Population; Variation
Mutations--gene and chromosomal
Gene Duplications and Polyploidy
Transposons and retroelements
Proximate and Ultimate Causation
Contingency in Evolution
Population Examples of Selection
Classification--Systematics & Phylogeny
Vestigial Structures & Atavisms
Symbiosis & Evolution
Evidence supporting Evolution
Direction, Purpose, Meaning? Or Contingency, Opportunity & Local Adaptation
Fish to Amphibian Transition
Genetic Drift--Hardy Weinberg probability
Units of Selection--Selfish Gene Theory
Horizontal Gene Transfer
Kin Selection & Inclusive Fitness
Human Evolution: Morphology & Behavior