Postgraduate Course: Foundations of Evolution (LASC11006)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the central ideas of evolution. In particular, it covers key theoretical concepts of evolutionary biology and the application of evolutionary approaches to the study of culture.
This course is intended to be accessible and relevant to students whether or not they have a background in evolutionary biology. As well as providing a primer for the core concepts of modern evolutionary theory and practice, the course situates evolutionary biology in a wider context, covering the historical development of evolutionary theory, its philosophical ramifications and its impact on other disciplines.
PLEASE NOTE: this course is primarily intended for students on the MSc in Evolution of Language and Cognition. Any other students should contact the course organiser for permission to take this course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One 2-hour examination
Date of exam: To be set centrally
Return deadline: within 3 working weeks
||There will a session devoted to practising examination questions, with students attempting and discussing and the lecturer providing comments to the class.
Comments provided on submitted assessments
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||Foundations of Evolution||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- critically evaluate the application of evolutionary thinking in biology and other disciplines
- integrate formal models and philosophical arguments to develop scientific explanations
|Laland, K. N. & Brown, G. R. (2011). Sense and nonsense: evolutionary perspectives on human behaviour, 2nd edition. Oxford: OUP.|
Barton, N. H., et al. (2007). Evolution. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Mesoudi, A. (2011). Cultural Evolution. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.
Dediu, D. (2013). Genes: Interactions with language on three leveos: inter-individual variation, historical corelations and genetic biasing. In P.-M. Binder and K. Smith (eds.) The language phenomenon. Springer Verlag.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||After successful completion of the course, students will have an understanding of:
- the intellectual history of evolutionary biology
- what evolutionary theory aims to explain
- the mechanisms that give rise to adaptation
- the biological evidence for evolutionary processes
- the major evolutionary transitions in the history of life on earth
- how techniques from evolutionary biology can be applied to the study of cultural systems such as language
- how evolutionary biology impacts on the cognitive and social sciences
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Attend all lectures and tutorials as scheduled
|Course organiser||Dr Kenneth Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 3956
|Course secretary||Miss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:15 am