FT 06-M Of Deities, Designers, and Darwin: The Origin of Human Beings
Michele Pittard, Department of Teacher Education, and Robert Horton, Department of Psychology
Did God create humans; did humans evolve from lower animals by random processes of genetic mutation, has the evolution of humans been shaped by an "intelligent designer," and/or did humans originate from some other process or action? In this course we WILL NOT try to answer the question. Instead, we will introduce and explore the quesiton and its many components using an interdisciplinary, liberal arts perspective. We will focus the course on three perspectives that have dominated recent legal and philosophical debates:creationism, evolutionary theory, and the theory of intelligent design. We will read and discuss text that outline the basic ideas of each perspective (e.g., Stroble, The Case for a Creator; Darwin, The Origin of Species;Davis et al., Of Pandas and People), will hear from scholars from the community and from the departments of Biology, Philosophy, and Religion about their personal and professional views on the question, and will engage with one another aboutmour own intellectual and emotional responses to the question of how we came to be.
No particular ideology or understanding of the above perspectives is necessary (in fact, we will assume relative ignorance of each), and we encourage students with differing perspectives on the issue, including perspectives not included above, to consider the course.