Darwin (Biology 308/History 321)
Stan Rachootin, 3-D Clapp, ext. (413) 538-2093; srachoot@mtholyoke.edu

Required texts:
1. C. Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle (1st ed., edited by Browne and Neve, Penguin),
2. C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1st ed. Harvard.

Assignments: For students taking the class for biology credit: approximately 8 short papers (most are around 3 pages in length), due at the beginning of the 4th hr devoted to their discussion, final exam (which includes a take-home component).
For students taking the class to satisfy the requirements of a 300-level course in History: the first 4 short papers and a term paper, based on primary sources.

 

Topics by Week

Jan 27 A provincial island of the Enlightenment; CD at Edinburgh; the Cambridge curriculum. Class meets for 4th hr.

Feb 5 Bishop Butler and William Paley. Animate creation's periodic table (quinarism). 1st paper due, 4th hr.

Feb 12 Rennie. Geology: actualism and uniformitarianism. 2nd paper due.

Feb 19 Voyage of the Beagle. Darwin as a geologist. Patagonian natural history. 3rd paper due.

Feb 26 Transmutation Notebooks. Coleridge's path to Xanadu; Darwin's path to natural selection.

Mar 4 Barnacles. Vera causa (Herschel). How to read the table of content of Origin.

Mar 11 The analogy of domestication (Intro, I) Youatt. Selections from "The possibility of all organic beings crossing..." CD).

Mar 25 Botanical statistics II, Struggle III. Lyell, Herbert. 4th paper.

Apr 1 Natural and sexual selection IV. Wollaston.

Apr 8 Laws of variation V. Müller's humoral physiology; pangenesis.

Apr 15 Some problems: Intermediates, Instincts, Hybrids. (VI-VIII)

Apr 22 A Mendelian tangent. Mendel; Geology (IX, X)

Apr 29 Glacial period and biogeography XI, XII Classification and Embryology XIII . Forbes, Owen.

May 6 Conclusion(s) XIV

Special topics (4th hr): The art of natural history, Copernicus of the Beehive, Evolution of the Microscope