ENV 402: Darwin In Our Time • Fall 2007

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Environmental History: Darwin in our Time
Seminar, Mon 1:30-4:20 pm, 114 Frist Campus Center
Professor William Howarth

The course focuses on close reading of four works by Charles Darwin that revolutionized natural science and challenged Western concepts of humanity. Our discussions explore Darwin's ideas of nature, choice, and language. We also consider four waves of response to Darwin: fundamentalism, social Darwinism, creationism, and neo-Darwinism.

Requirements: (1) talk on a current issue; (2) notes for a seminar, (3) mid-term and final.

Recommended Texts (see also Online Texts)

The Voyage of the Beagle. Modern Library, 2001. 0375756809
The Origin of Species. Oxford World Classics, 1998. 019283438X
The Descent of Man. Princeton Paperbacks, 1981. 0691023697
The Expression of the Emotions. Oxford UP, 1998. 0195158067

Use the bold-face ISBN numbers to order from ABE or Amazon.


Darwin and the neo-Darwinists:
Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins and Francis Crick

copyright by Andy Davy

Darwin Readings
  The Voyage of the Beagle  
17 Sep
Heavy Rain Musical Frogs (ch 1-7)

creation stories and life forms, dominion and stewardship.

24 Sep
Miserable Condition of the Savages (ch 8-14) early ideas of nature, providence, theodicy, and animals
01 Oct
Differences in the Species or Races (ch 15-21) exploration and imperialism, ecology as a paradigm
  The Origin of Species  
08 Oct
Natural Selection (ch 1-5) evolution and its reception, Darwinism in literature, politics, ethics, and science
15 Oct
Difficulties on Theory (ch 6-10)
production-consumption, competition-collaboration, social Darwinism
22 Oct
Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings (ch 11-14) aesthetic and scientific expression, heredity-environment, life writing
25 Oct
Take-home exam on weeks 1-6  
Fall Break
  The Descent of Man  
05 Nov
On the Descent of Man (ch 1-7) primatology, race and racism, fundamentalism
12 Nov
Sexual Selection (ch 8-14) revisions of evolution: succession, sexuality, intelligent design
19 Nov
Secondary Sexual Characters (ch 15-21) ecology and environmentalism; wilderness preservation
  The Expression of the Emotions  
26 Nov
General Principles of Expressions (ch 1-5) biophilia, biophobia, creationism
03 Dec
Special Expressions of Man (ch 6-9) sacramental nature, deep ecology and evolution
10 Dec
Self-Attention (ch 10-14) animal rights, genetic engineering, the future of Darwinism
17 Jan
Take-home exam on weeks 7-12  
2007 Princeton University