22005 Evolution and Creationism

Credits: 3 graduate credits in Biological Thought

Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in Biological Thought

The course is based on a reader edited by Simona Ginsburg, Sara Schwartz and Batya Zalinger, and on books which change from semester to semester.

The course begins with a summary of the basic ideas of the theory of evolution, their historical development and their social impact up to the present day. It then examines the status of the theory within biology and the sciences in general. Next, the course reviews the central ideas of the creationist movement, its history, and its influence on parts of society and on teaching institutions. The theory of evolution is confronted with creationism by analyzing the fundamental differences between them and by scrutinizing the claims raised by each against the other, with special attention given to the logical validity of the arguments. The topic serves as a point of departure for discussing myth, anti-science, and science versus religion. The role of creationism in Israel and in Jewish thought is also briefly explored.