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BIO372: Revolutionary Thought in Biology - Biological theories, such as those on the origin of life, evolution and extinction; the immune response; sex; cancer; and behavior. 3 hrs credit.


This LIBERAL STUDIES course (satisfies a general education requirement at Northern Arizona University) will provide a critical evaluation of some of the theories that have had, or are having, a major influence on our perception of the biological world. The theory of evolution has had a profound impact on both the biological sciences as well as on society in general. The idea that some of our behavior, like aggressiveness or sexual orientation, is wired in our brains at birth, is helping to guide modern day research.

These and other theories appear in the news, in popular literature, and on TV, as well as in scientific papers. We will study theories in six subject areas. We will study some of the evidence which supports these theories. We will learn the process by which these theories are developed and use that process to critically evaluate the validity of the theories.

A background in biology is not required to take this course. However, students are expected to be able to understand, with guidance from the lessons, interesting papers which report scientific findings. You will be expected to identify the essence of the issues and effectively evaluate, according to the guidelines provided, information which supports or does not support the issues.

Readings are in Vista from the icon on the Course Content page.

We will consider the following subject areas:

  1. Biological Basis of Behavior
  2. Biological & Ecological Implications of Sex
  3. Evolution
  4. Extinction
  5. Immunology
  6. Cancer

This course will be taught during the Spring 2010 semester at Northern Arizona University (the class number is 10018). The course begins on Jan 11, 2010, and ends May 7, 2010. We will work on each subject area for 2.5 weeks, not counting a week for NAU's spring break in March.

Important: Before proceeding

  1. read the Syllabus
  2. read the Class page
  3. complete and submit the Student Profile/Agreement

Enroll in BIO 372.


If this is your first time in the class, you should:
  1. Read the help page.
  2. Read Getting Started.

Then click one of the links above to read the Communication page, view additional resources from Cline Library, or get technical help. E-mail Professor Frederiksen Professor Frederiksen,


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