Outline Brown Bag Discussion Group Evidence for Design in Nature

12:00 T; one evening session required (date TBD)

This discussion group will examine the origins of the diversity and complexity found in the biological world. Is this diversity and complexity the result of purely natural processes (the Blind Watchmaker), or is there evidence for design? Students will read contrasting articles by such authors as Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Hugh Ross, and Michael Behe, and critically analyze competing arguments.

Biology 111 highly recommended!

Texts: Selected readings; Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker; Michael Behe, Darwin's Black Box

Course outline:

Introduction to the course: Sept 8

The Big Bang Sept 15

    Readings:Scientific American Presents: www.sciam.com/specialissues/0398cosmos/0398peebles.html Peeple, P., D. Schramm, and E. Turner. 1998. "The Evolution of the Universe". Scientific American Presents.

The Big Bang (cont'd) Sept 22

The anthropic principle Sept 29

    www.leaderu.com/orgs/arn/orpages/or102/ross1.htm Ross, H. 1997. "Cosmology Confronts the Creator" . Access Research Network 10(2).

    Maddox, J. 1989. "Down with the Big Bang" Nature (340), 425 (in the conference room)

The origin of life October 6

The origin of life October 13

    Stephen C. Meyer, "The Origin of Life and the Death of Materialism", Intercollegiate Review, Spring 1996 (in conference room)

The origin of biological complexity October 20

The origin of biological complexity October 27

Macroevolution November 3

Macroevolution November 10

Detection of design November 17

PBS Debate (evening session- approx. 3 hrs, including discussion)

Summary of course

Evidence for Design in Nature Readings for the big bang/anthropic principle: September 15, 22, 29.

Other readings for the 22 & 29 may follow!