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Darwin's Legacy

Course Summary

This course is based on Darwin's Legacy, Fall 2008 made available by Stanford University.
"Light will be thrown..." With these modest words, Charles Darwin launched a sweeping new theory of life in his epic book, On the Origin of Species (1859). The theory opened eyes and minds around the world to a radical new understanding of the flora and fauna of the planet. Here, Darwin showed for the first time that no supernatural processes are necessary to explain the profusion of living beings on earth, that all organisms past and present are related in a historical branching pattern of descent, and that human beings fall into place quite naturally in the web of all life. Now, 150 years later and 200 years after Darwins birth, we celebrate the amazingly productive vision and reach of his theory.

Origin of Species
In this course, we will meet with leading Darwin scholars from around the country to learn about Darwins far-reaching legacy in fields as diverse as anthropology, religion, medicine, psychology, philosophy, literature, and biology. With such a broad reach across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, no wonder the theory of evolution by natural selection has been called the single best idea, ever. Presented by the Stanford Continuing Studies Program.

Reading Material

1. Yale textbook: Evolution: An Introduction
Stearns, Stephen C. and Rolf Hoekstra. Evolution: An Introduction, 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Course Material

Not available.

Other Resources

1. The Origin of Species
Charles Darwin, Julian Huxley (intro), The Origin of Species, Publisher: Signet Classic, 2003, ISBN 9780451529060
(Click the button below to see a preview of the book)

2. Evolution
Mark Ridley, Evolution, Edition 3, Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2004, ISBN 9781405103459
(Click the button below to see a preview of the book)

3. Evolution
Nicholas H. Barton, Evolution, Publisher: CSHL Press, 2007, ISBN 9780879696849
(Click the button below to see a preview of the book)

4. Yale Galapagos Project
The Yale Galapagos Project was designed to support a three-week learning activity in Prof. Stephen Stearns's undergraduate course "Principles of Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior". The project seeks to provoke students' curiosity about the natural world and to strengthen their ability to ask good scientific questions based on their own observations.

5. Principles of Evolution, Ecology and Behavior
A more comprehensive course on evolution conducted in Yale by Prof. Stephen Stearns with a complete set of video lectures.


Not available.

Discussion Forum

For discussion on this topic, please go to the relevant forum for Darwin's Legacy. Click the button below to open the forum page in a new window.



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