HSS612: The idea of evolution: Before and after Darwin

        [Cr:4, Lc:3, Tt:1, Lb:0]

Course Outline

This course will look at the genesis, the historical development and the social, cultural and religious impact of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection. Starting from pre-Darwinian ideas about creation of the earth and life upon it, this course will trace the historical development of Darwinism. We will try to place Darwin's contribution in his social context of 19th century England, the center of the industrial revolution, capitalism and imperialism. Along with an examination of the scientific debates over adaptation and natural selection, we will look at the social and religious implications of Darwinism. Debates over sociobiology and creationism will be examined. We will also look at the reception of Darwinism in India, including the attempts to reconcile it with a Hindu worldview.

Selected Readings