Evolutionary theory is the core concept in biological sciences, the ultimate cause of everything biology studies. This module aims to introduce students to the main concepts of the discipline and to some of the current research topics while helping them to develop evolutionary thinking in biology. In the course of this module students will learn about the underlying genetics and the selfish gene concept, about Charles Darwin, the founder of the discipline and will get a deeper understanding of the different areas encompassed by the theory. These include some of the major transitions in evolution such as the origin of life, the genetic code, the origin of sex, and the development of eukaryotes through self-organisation and symbiogenesis. Students will become familiar with the common arguments of the creationist movement, and learn some of its logical fallacies through the critical analysis of texts and debates. Students will study the various forms of evidence that support evolution. We will also explore topics close to our own life, for instance the evolution of the Homo genus, the origin of anatomically modern humans and how evolutionary theory helped us understand the origin and evolution of human diseases using HIV as an example.
Module Leader:Gábor Endresz