Evolution Today

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Evolution Today

Coursera (CC)
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Opleiderscore: starstarstarstar_halfstar_border 7,2 Coursera (CC) heeft een gemiddelde beoordeling van 7,2 (uit 6 ervaringen)

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Beschrijving

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About this course: In this course you will learn how evolution works. You will develop an understanding of evolutionary processes and their formative power. You will see how evolution has shaped biodiversity, and continuously influences our daily life. Evolution impacts human endeavors as varied as medicine, agriculture, psychology, economy, and culture. It is the major unifying principle for biology and a fundamental natural law. In five weeks we will make evolution accessible for you and help you to recognize evolutionary processes around you, in nature as well as in society. We make use of the unique collection of Naturalis, the natural history museum in Leiden, but also take you to …

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: In this course you will learn how evolution works. You will develop an understanding of evolutionary processes and their formative power. You will see how evolution has shaped biodiversity, and continuously influences our daily life. Evolution impacts human endeavors as varied as medicine, agriculture, psychology, economy, and culture. It is the major unifying principle for biology and a fundamental natural law. In five weeks we will make evolution accessible for you and help you to recognize evolutionary processes around you, in nature as well as in society. We make use of the unique collection of Naturalis, the natural history museum in Leiden, but also take you to the field. Using classical and up-to-date examples, we will show you how scientists address evolutionary questions. In the last module, we will have a look at the future. How will humans evolve? And how do we influence our own evolution and that of other organisms? This course is aimed at anybody with a drive to obtain a deeper, broader, and pragmatic understanding of evolution, including high-school students, BSc (undergraduate) biology students, MSc (graduate) students from other disciplines, medical professionals, conservation officers and educators in museums, libraries, national parks, and schools.

Who is this class for: The course is designed for everybody with interest in Evolution or biology in general. All the basics will be covered, so no academic knowledge on this subject is required. It might help when you graduated high school with biology, but it is definitely not necessary. People that like to learn how to do legitimate research in the Natural Sciences are also very welcome to join this course. This course is not meant for philosophical purposes. We do not discourage to discuss this topic on the forum, but our main approach is strictly scientific. We welcome everyone, but if you are not interested to learn about the science of evolution, this course is not for you. This course is free, and will remain free for participants. You can purchase a certificate.

Created by:  Universiteit Leiden, Naturalis Biodiversity Center
  • Taught by:  Menno Schilthuizen, Prof. Dr.

    Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Leiden University
  • Taught by:  Maurijn van der Zee, Dr.

    Leiden University
  • Taught by:  Rutger Vos, Dr.

    Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Level Beginner Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.4 stars Average User Rating 4.4See what learners said Coursework

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Universiteit Leiden Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis — Bastion of Liberty. Naturalis Biodiversity Center Naturalis is the natural history museum of the Netherlands and the national research institute in biodiversity. We collect, conserve and study animals, plants and rocks. Our collection now contains 37 million objects and that makes it one of the largest in the world. And it is still growing each day thanks to the worldwide fieldwork of our researchers and many amateur scientists.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Welcome to the course Evolution Today



Great that you are joining us! In this course you will learn about Evolution. Before you start with this course we invite you to first take a look around and meet your fellow learners. We would like to know what brings you here and what you would like to get out of the course. If you encounter any difficulties while studying, please let us know in the forum. For technical difficulties or questions regarding the course certificate, you can always contact the Coursera Learner Helpdesk. Good luck & we hope you will enjoy studying in this course!


5 readings expand


  1. Reading: Meet the instructors & the team
  2. Reading: Welcome to Leiden University!
  3. Reading: Study tips for studying online
  4. Reading: Being successful in an international virtual learning community
  5. Reading: Behaving in an academic way
  6. Discussion Prompt: Introduce yourself


WEEK 2


Do we change?



In this module, you are going to learn that a very powerful mechanism, natural selection, leads to evolutionary change. We are going to have a detailed look at what is required for this natural selection. And, knowing these conditions, we can judge whether traits in humans are evolving at the moment. This is a surprisingly simple module. I am looking forward to discuss human evolution with you at the end!


5 videos, 5 readings, 4 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Video: Natural Selection
  3. Reading: Evolution is Everywhere
  4. Practice Quiz: Natural Selection
  5. Video: Natural Selection in the Field
  6. Reading: Observe it with your own eyes!
  7. Practice Quiz: Natural Selection in the Field
  8. Reading: Online lab simulated evolution
  9. Video: Dialogue
  10. Reading: Eyes, HIV and Human Body Height
  11. Practice Quiz: Human Evolution
  12. Video: Sexual selection
  13. Reading: Science evolves
  14. Practice Quiz: Sexual Selection
  15. Discussion Prompt: Let's talk about human evolution
  16. Discussion Prompt: Let's talk about muscles
  17. Discussion Prompt: Let's talk about our heads
  18. Discussion Prompt: Let's talk about human evolution in general

Graded: Test your knowledge

WEEK 3


How do we change?



This is a real puzzle-module. We are going to decipher the language of DNA, and see that mutations in this DNA lead to new variation. As we saw, variation is the raw material for natural selection. Thus, take your pen and pencil and unravel with me the code of your own DNA!


5 videos, 2 readings, 3 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Video: DNA
  3. Practice Quiz: E-tivity: translating a short human gene
  4. Video: Mutation
  5. Practice Quiz: E-tivity: mutations in human genes
  6. Video: Dialogue
  7. Reading: Imperfect weasels
  8. Video: Evo-devo
  9. Reading: Gene Switches
  10. Practice Quiz: E-tivity: playing with Hox-genes

Graded: Test your knowledge

WEEK 4


Who is this "we" anyway?



In the first two modules, we have asked ourselves whether we experience evolutionary change, and if so, how this change comes about. In this module, we will explore who this "we" is anyway: is it us, the individual? Is it our species? Our genes? Who is in charge here?


6 videos, 5 readings, 5 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Video: Levels of Organization
  3. Reading: The false allure of group selection by Steven Pinker
  4. Practice Quiz: Units of Selection
  5. Video: Selfish Units
  6. Reading: Distinguishing between Selfish DNA and The Selfish Gene
  7. Reading: Selfish cells
  8. Practice Quiz: The Good of the Species
  9. Video: Supressing Selfishness
  10. Reading: Video lecture on behavioral evolution by Robert Sapolsky
  11. Practice Quiz: Single Round Prisoner's Dilemma
  12. Practice Quiz: Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma
  13. Video: Promoting Collaboration
  14. Reading: Green beards and eusociality in the Red Imported Fire Ant
  15. Practice Quiz: Hamilton's rule
  16. Video: Discussion
  17. Discussion Prompt: Let's talk about...

Graded: Test your knowledge

WEEK 5


How have we (and haven't we) changed?
In this module, we will take a look at the limitations to evolution. Despite the strength of the process of natural selection, some things simply are not possible. Evolution has to play by the rules, and this module will explore what those rules are.


4 videos, 2 readings, 2 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: Introduction
  2. Practice Quiz: Similarity and relatedness
  3. Video: Contingencies
  4. Reading: Contingencies
  5. Discussion Prompt: Can humans evolve better eyes?
  6. Video: Trade-offs and Compromises
  7. Discussion Prompt: Can you think of other trade-offs?
  8. Discussion Prompt: Trade-offs and sex in bedbugs
  9. Video: Evolutionary Inertia
  10. Practice Quiz: "Living fossils" and evolutionary inertia
  11. Reading: Interview with Dr. Paul Ewald

Graded: Test your knowledge
Graded: Maladaptation

WEEK 6


How will we change?
In this module, we will have a look at the future. How will humans evolve, and, as our impact on the world increases, how will we affect the evolution of other organisms?


5 videos, 4 readings, 3 practice quizzes expand


  1. Video: How will we change?
  2. Video: The Future Evolution of Humans
  3. Practice Quiz: Selection in humans today
  4. Reading: Current evolution in humans
  5. Discussion Prompt: Sexual selection in humans today
  6. Video: Human-Induced Rapid Evolutionary Change (HIREC)
  7. Reading: Videos on fast evolution in guppy fish
  8. Practice Quiz: Cities and caves
  9. Discussion Prompt: Evolutionary rescue and "evolvability"
  10. Video: Novel Ecosystems
  11. Reading: Op-ed on novel ecosystems from the New York Times
  12. Practice Quiz: Tele-coupling
  13. Video: Evolutionary Thinking
  14. Reading: An evolutionary computer game ("Niche")
  15. Discussion Prompt: Cancer cells adapting

Graded: Test your knowledge
Graded: Final Exam of the Course
Graded: Discover HIREC where you live

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