God and the Natural Sciences (Science 3)

Subject 136-360 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Between 10-12 weekly tutorials and between 20-24 lectures, normally two per week
Total Time Commitment: *
Prerequisites: Two second-year HPS subjects.
Corequisites: *
Recommended Background Knowledge: *
Non Allowed Subjects: Formerly available as 136-102/029. Students who have completed 136-102 or 136-029 are not eligible to enrol in this subject. Students cannot gain credit for both this subject and 136-102 before 1999 or 136-029 after 1998.
Core Participation Requirements: *


To be advised
Subject Overview:

This subject explores the origins and the implications of Charles Darwin's revolutionary theory of evolution by means of natural selection. It begins by examining the diverse sources from which the theory was constructed during the late 1830s: the geological data used to challenge Biblical stories of Creation and the Great Flood; the observations of plants and animals that began to suggest common descent; the evolutionary theories that preceded Darwin's; and the fraught socio-economic context that arguably helped inspire Darwin's vision of a natural world steeped in struggle. The course goes on to examine the reasons why Darwin delayed publishing for more than twenty years and the reception of his theory following the appearance of The Origin of Species in 1859. The course then charts how Darwin's basic theory was refined by successive generations of biologists. It also examines the application of evolutionary theory to questions of politics, warfare, colonialism, economics, as well as race, class and gender, during the late 19th and 20th centuries. The course concludes with a discussion of Darwin's legacy both in terms of the relationship between science and religion, and the emergence of evolutionary approaches to understanding human mind and behaviour.

Assessment: A tutorial assignment of 1500 words 25% (due mid-semester), a long essay of 3000 words 50% and a 1500-word project on an advanced topic related to the subject but not covered in classroom teaching 25% (both due at the end of semester).
Prescribed Texts: Evolution: the history of an idea (P J Bowler), (3rd ed) ´┐ŻUniversity of California Press 2003
Recommended Texts: *
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • develop skills in written and oral communication;

  • conduct independent research;

  • make appropriate use of primary and secondary sources in mounting an argument;

  • form defensible judgements based on a critical evaluation of conflicting arguments.


Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), or a combined BSc course (except for the BA/BSc) will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

Only available at science third year. This subject is based on 136-029 but involves additional work.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science

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