Evolving Perspectives: Biology course for non-science majors

In biology professor Peter Goldman’s class next semester, students will get the chance to study and understand the history of our species on a scientific level.

Goldman will teach a biology course called “Homo sapiens: A Biological Perspective” next semester that will satisfy the life science LSP mode of inquiry.

This course primarily is about evolutionary history and the processes responsible for historical changes within our own species. Goldman said it is an introductory evolutionary biology course that will involve aspects of genetics, ecology and geology. This course recently was added so junior and senior non-science majors would have an opportunity to learn about evolution in a way that is geared toward them.

“In the liberal studies, one aspect of that — an important aspect — is to have students who are not trained to be scientists to understand the power and limits of scientific investigations,” Goldman said.

With preference given to non-science majors, Goldman said he thought it would be an interesting new endeavor for him and an opportunity to interact with older non-science majors who might not have a clear understanding of evolution.

Goldman said he thinks evolution is a topic a lot of students are not comfortable with. He said he thinks evolution is not taught effectively in high schools or higher education, so students who take the course might be lacking information.

Goldman said he hopes this course will defuse any controversy in students’ minds about whether evolution has taken place. He also said he hopes the students taking this course will leave with a better understanding about this subject.

“Well, I hope to get out of it a far better understanding of how science works, and what draws us to this way of satisfying our curiosity,” Goldman said.

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