Course Details

Course offered Winter 2021

HONORS 221 A: DNA and Evolution (NSc, W)

HONORS 221 A: DNA and Evolution (NSc, W)

SLN 15423 (View UW registration info »)

Jon Herron (Biology)
Office: 205D Burke Museum, Box 351800
Phone: (206) 547-6330

Credits: 5
Limit: 35 students

Honors Credit Type

This course is offered synchronously via remote learning.

Students who have previously taken “DNA and Evolution” are not eligible to enroll in this course again. Additionally, students who have taken or are planning to take BIOL 354 with Professor Herron should not register for this course as there is significant overlap in material. Evolution and genetics are the cornerstones of modern biology. DNA & Evolution will explore these fields in the context of contemporary issues that are important to individuals and societies. Although examples will be drawn from a variety of organisms, the primary emphasis will be on humans. Among the questions we will consider are these: Where did modern humans come from? Why are women and men different? Why do children resemble their parents? Do genes influence variation in personality, intelligence, and sexual orientation? What can genetic analyses reveal about evolutionary history and the relationships among species? Can genetic analyses allow us to predict the evolutionary future? Given what our society knows about evolution and genetics, should we take responsibility for guiding the evolutionary future of human populations? Throughout the course the goal will be to help students develop sufficient biological sophistication to understand new discoveries in genetics and evolution, talk to their doctors, and make rational personal and political choices about biological issues. Students will read secondary and primary literature, ask questions, design experiments, analyze and interpret data, and draw their own conclusions. Assignments will include essays, problem sets, and computer labs