Special Topics BIS 393A, W 05
Biology and Society

Topics, Activities, Readings (pdfs)

Week 1
Mon Jan 3 The Social Origins & Implications of Evolution & Genetics
Introduction to the course
1. Stephen Jay Gould, "A Darwin for Every Reason"

Wed Jan 5 Divine Will and Natural Laws
Lecture & discussion
1. John Hedley Brooke, “Natural Theology”
2. William Paley, Natural Theology
3. Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population

EXTRA Mott Greene, “Genesis and Geology Revisited” (pdf)
Natural Theology of Paley (web)

Thomas Robert Malthus (web)

Good introductory books on history of evolution (on reserve): Peter Bowler, Evolution: The History of An Idea; Edward Larson, Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory; Martin Fichman, Evolutionary Theory and Victorian Culture; Philip Appleman, ed., Darwin.

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4
Mon Jan 24 Man’s Place in Nature and Evolutionary Ethics AND Evolution in Fiction
Lecture & discussion of the NOVEL
HOMEWORK #4 DUE (bibliography exercise)

1. Martin Fichman, Evolutionary Theory and Victorian Culture
2. H. G. Wells, “Human Evolution, an Artificial Process”
3. H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau [whole book]
EXTRA Charles Darwin, Descent of Man [I will summarize in class]
T. H. Huxley, “Evolution and Ethics” [I will summarize in class -- this is important for understanding Wells]
T. H. Huxley, “Prolegomena” [longer part of the same essay, I will summarize]

Wed Jan 26 Social Darwinism AND Eugenics
(readings have changed to combine 2 topics)

1. Peter Bowler, “The Social Implications of Evolutionism”
2. Karl Pearson, National Life from the Standpoint of Science
3. Garland Allen, "Genetics, Eugenics, and the Medicalization of Social Behavior"

EXTRA Daniel Kevles, “Francis Galton, Founder of the Faith”
"Social Darwinism" from Wikipedia (web)
Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (web, 1889)
Garland Allen, “Revolt from Morphology II: Heredity and Evolution”

Week 5
Mon Jan 31 Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
HW#5 is due on Wed instead (below)

Wed Feb 2 The American Eugenics Movement, 1900-1940
Guest lecture: Dennis Lang, UWS Disability Studies
Film The Lynchburg Story
CHANGE: HOMEWORK #5 DUE (Social Darwinism and eugenics response paper)
1. Stephen Jay Gould, “Carrie Buck’s Daughter”
2. Diane Paul, “What is Eugenics?" and "Menace of the Moron" (this file was modified on Jan 17, adding 9 pages that will better help to explain the Grant and Brigham primary readings)

EXTRA Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race (for HW5)
Carl Brigham, A Study of American Intelligence (for HW5)
Stephen Jay Gould, "The Hereditarian Theory of IQ" (pdf added late, about Army mental tests)

Image Archive on the American Eugenics Movement (web)
Against Their Will: North Carolina's Sterilization Program (web)"The Black Stork" (web)
Nazi Persecution of the Disabled (US Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9
Mon Feb 28 Intelligence, Crime, and Race: Politics of Genetic Difference, 1990s
Guest lecture Cinnamon Hillyard
1. Commentaries on The Bell Curve
2. Mitchell Cohen, "Is Violence in Your Genes? The Violence Initiative Project: Coming Soon to an Inner City Near You"
3. "Does Race Exist?" [web, Scientific American cover story, Nov 2003]

Richard Lewontin, "The Irrelevance of Heritability"
Barry Mehler, "Foundation for Fascism" [on Rushton and Pioneer Fund]
Pioneer Fund homepage
Institute for the Study of Academic Racism [Barry Mehler]

Bradley Foundation homepage [neo-con funder of Charles Murray]
Critique of the Bradley Foundation (MediaTransparency, Mar 2000)
J. Phillippe Rushton homepage
The Charles Darwin Research Institute [founded by Rushton as "a 501(c)(3) charity set up to guarantee academic freedom for research on race differences."]
Rushton, "Darwin's Really Dangerous Idea"
Richard Lynn homepage

Mankind Quarterly journal [see library catalogue]
Future Generations [pro-eugenics website]

"US Gov Funds Eugenics Research" [1993 report of Violence Initiative]
"Genes, Medicine, and the New Race Debate" [Word, 2003]
"The Genome in Black and White (and Gray)" [Word, NY Times, Oct 2004]

Wed Mar 2 Evolutionary Psychology Today: Claims about Universal Human Nature

1. Michael Ruse and E. O. Wilson, “The Evolution of Ethics” (pro)
2. Philip Kitcher, “The Hypothalamic Imperative” (con)
3. Anne Fausto-Sterling, “Beyond Difference: Feminism and Evolutionary Psychology” (con)
4. Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer, "Why Men Rape" (pro) (large pdf 1.45M, The Sciences, 2000). I added this reading on the day of discussion. It's well worth looking at this most notorious example of EP theorizing and its social implications, and would be useful for an essay on gender/sex.

EXTRA "Evolutionary Psychology" (Wikipedia)

Favorable accounts of evolutionary psychology [see also EO Wilson from Feb 16]:
David Barash, "The Myth of Monogamy" (pdf Salon, 2001, popular writing by a leading EP scholar)
"Looking for Personality in Animals, of All People" (pdf NY Times, Mar 1, 2005)
Paul Thompson, "Evolutionary Ethics: Its Origins and Contemporary Face" (pdf scholarly article by a philosopher who uses EE)
"Behavioral Genetics" (HGP website)

Critical accounts of evolutionary psychology:
Elizabeth Lloyd, "Violence Against Science: Rape and Evolution" (pdf scholarly article)
"Not an Inkling" (web, negative review of EP book)
Stephen Jay Gould, "Darwinian Fundamentalism" (web, 1997)

"'God Gene' Discovered by Scientist behind Gay DNA Theory” (Nov 11, 2004)
Jerome Groopman, “God on the Brain” (New Yorker, Sept 17, 2001)

Week 10 -- essay due on Mar 14
Mon Mar 7 Intelligent Design Creationism: The Wedge Strategy

Could be useful for the essay!
1. Phillip Johnson, "The Intelligent Design Movement: Challenging the Modernist Monopoly on Science"
2. "Intelligent Design" from Wikipedia (web)
3. Center for [the Renewal of] Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, "The Wedge Strategy" (web)
4. Chris Mooney, "Research and Destroy" (web)

5. (added late) "God or Science?" (web, Nov 23, 2004, Christian Science Monitor sums up recent ID moves in PA, GA)
EXTRA Barbara Forrest, "The Wedge at Work" (web critique of DI)
Discovery Institute website
National Center for Science Education website (advocacy and news)
International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design website
"Icons of Evolution?" (web)

Theocracy Watch website, "Rise of the Religious Right in the Republican Party"

Americans United for Separation of Church and State website

"Avenging Angel of the Religious Right" (Salon, Jan 6, 2004)
"God's Venture Capitalist" (Slate, June 8, 1997)
Recent news on right-wing DI funder Ahmanson (web, Observer, March 6)
Phillip Johnson, "Intelligent Design, Freedom, and Education" (web, on implementing Santorum Amendment to No Child Left Behind)

"Evolution takes a back seat in US classrooms" (pdf NY Times, Feb 1, on pressure not to teach it)
"Who are those Christians?" (Seattle PI, Jan 16, taxonomy of faiths)

Intelligent design tactics in the news:
Kansas Schools Struggle (NPR Feb 8)
"Ohio adopts 'critical analysis of evolution" curriculum" (website of faith-based group, Mar 2004)
"School board OKs challenges to evolution" (PA rural county mandates balanced treatment for ID, web, Nov 2004)
"Judge: Evolution stickers unconstitutional" (CNN, Cobb Co. Georgia textbook disclaimer ruling, Jan 13, 2005)
Michael Ruse, "Darwinism and Atheism: A Marriage Made in Heaven?" (web)
Michael Ruse, The Evolution Wars: A Guide to the Debates (ebook, see library catalogue)

Wed Mar 9 Evolution, Morality, and the Meaning of Life
1. William Provine, "Evolution and the Foundation of Ethics"
2. William Dembski, "Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher about Design"
3. Kenneth Miller, "Finding Darwin's God"

ESSAY #2 DUE Mon Mar 14, 3:30 pm
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Last modified: 3/07/2005 1:31 AM