EEB 2245/2245W Honors Conversion (Spring 2009)

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2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth (12 February 1809) and the 150th anniversary of his publication of On the Origin of Species (24 November 1859). This spring, the University is offering a series of events associated with these anniversaries.

Darwin lectures

February 25 John Haught, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Theology, Georgetown University
March 19 Marc Hauser, Professor of Psychology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Anthropology, Harvard University
March 25 John Beatty, Professor of Biology, University of British Columbia
April 15 Paul Ewald, Professor of Biology, University of Louisville

All of these lectures will be held at 4:00pm in the Konover Auditorium at the Dodd Center. Admission to the Darwin lectures is free.

Special event

Darwin's meditations for the people of Lincoln

8:00pm, February 12, Jorgensen Auditorium

Student tickets to the Jorgensen event are $7.


For Honors conversion credit, we ask that you attend at least three of these five events and write a short (1-page) reaction to the event, either connecting it to topics we've covered in lecture, to other topics in evolutionary biology, or to something in your personal life or society.

We will each assign a short reading from some of Darwin's original writing twice during the semester, once during the first 7 weeks and once during the second 7 weeks. We will schedule a 1-hour discussion session where we discuss the reading together some time in the last week or two of each half of the semester.

Don't forget to have Dr. Holsinger sign your Honors Conversion form as soon as possible.

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First reading

The reading for the first part of the semester will consist of two chapters from On the Origin of Species. We'll read Chapter II, Variation under Nature, and Chapter IV, Natural Selection. If you read a paper copy of the Origin, make sure you read a copy of the first edition (published in 1859). Different editions of the Origin have somewhat different texts, and we should all read the same one.

If you'd like to read on-line or download a PDF, the full text of the Origin is available from The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online.

We will meet to discuss these chapters sometime during the week of February 23 or March 2.

Second reading

For the second reading, we will read two chapters from "Darwin, C. R. 1871. The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. London: John Murray. Volume 1. 1st edition" and compare what Darwin concluded about the evolutionary history of humans to current evidence on this topic. The full text is available online at The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. We will read chapters I and VI.

The meeting to discuss these chapters will be Tuesday, April 28, 6-7 pm in the Pharmacy/Biology 3rd floor conference room.