Shimer College

NATSCI2 : Evolution, Genetics & Animal Behavior Course

Explore the interaction among living organisms in this natural sciences course.

Consideration is given to the level of genetic units within the organism, the level of species, the environmental level, and the level of human concern. The concept of evolution provides groundwork for this inquiry into biological organization.

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

Charles DarwinCharles Darwin

Readings are organized so as to provide movement from general theoretical viewpoints to biological precision and back to the more general. The relationships between evolution, on the one hand, and cellular organization, genetics, the environment, animal behavior, and philosophical thought, on the other hand, are foci for discussion.

Reading List

  • Aristotle, On The Soul, Parts of Animals
  • Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
  • Gregor Mendel, “Experiments in Plant Hybridization”
  • Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression
  • Jane Goodall, Chimpanzees of Gombe
  • Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Zoological Philosophy