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2020 Spring Semester



Origins of Human Evolution 2

Instructor: Bill Portela

Thursdays • 3/19-5/7 • 3:15-5:15 PM

Class size 5-25 students
18 seats remaining
Location: Jewett 289

Origins of Human Evolution is a seminar-style course that tells the biological story of the creation of human life on Earth. The second semester of this two-semester course* continues exploring the pathways of Darwin’s natural selection and sexual selection of species. This course picks up after the extraordinary fusion between two bacterial kingdoms catapulted life into the eukaryotic domains of the fungi, plants, and animals. We examine the nature of instinctual behaviors for applicability to our own culture. Lively discussions will include the evolutionary mechanisms of gender differences in behavior, as observed in mammals, primates, and hominids, including humans. The course also reviews patterns involving the self-organization and emergence of new capabilities, as seen in nature and living systems.

* The first semester is not a prerequisite for this course. Classroom

Bill Portela has taught at every learning level in Maine, from elementary to university. He has been a volunteer teacher at the alternative, Evergreen Sudbury school in Hallowell. For the last 6 years he has been working on a book on evolution, which forms the basis of this class.