Evolution and the Human Condition

Subject 654-307 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

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

Lectures and tutorials/excusions/practical work.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 lectures (two a week) and 16 hours excursion, tutorial or practical work
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours total time commitment.

25 points of second year level life sciences subjects, or by arrangement with the coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Prof Mark Adrian Elgar
Subject Overview:

This subject explores the significance of contemporary evolutionary theory to our understanding of human biology. In particular, it provides students with an understanding of the evolution of adaptation by natural selection; an appreciation of the phylogenetic place of humans among primates; and knowledge of how evolutionary theory might resolve questions about the human condition.

Specific topics include the theory of natural and sexual selection; primate speciation and the fossil record; the evolution of language; the role of genetics and environment in shaping the human condition; the relevance of evolutionary theory for understanding the life-history traits, and the sexual and social behaviour of humans; the evolution of pathogen virulence and immune responses, and the application of evolutionary theory to understanding medical, veterinary, primary production and environmental practices.

Objectives: .

Written essays and/or excursion report of up to 2000 words due during the semester (35%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (65%).

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: The subject builds upon existing generic skills, including an ability to assimilate and critically evaluate new knowledge within a scientific paradigm, and to communicate that knowledge to a broad audience.
Notes: Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Reproduction and Development

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