Dinosaur Extinctions and Other Controversies (3) Dinosaur extinctions and other major and controversial events in the history of life.
EARTH 150 Dinosaur Extinctions and Other Controversies (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
One of the most dramatic developments in the Earth sciences is the suggestion that extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a meteorite impact. Evidence for and against this controversial idea is just one of the subjects addressed by this course, dealing broadly with the history of our planet, the evolution of life upon it, and the sometimes rocky development of our understanding of Earth history. In addition to dinosaur extinction, we will discuss issues relating to catastrophic vs. gradual theories about the Earth's history, fossils and the history of life, and mass extinctions, including whether or not we're in the middle of one now. How are scientific discoveries made? What distinguishes a scientific argument from a non-scientific one? What roles do social and historical factors play in the construction and acceptance of scientific theories? Questions such as these will permeate the course. Readings will include selected texts by leading scientists, with supplements from the primary scientific literature, including current discoveries published in Science and Nature.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.