By Stanford Continuing Studies Program
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"Light will be thrown..." With these modest words, Charles Darwin launched a sweeping new theory of life in his epic book, On the Origin of Species (1859). The theory opened eyes and minds around the world to a radical new understanding of the flora and fauna of the planet. Here, Darwin showed for the first time that no supernatural processes are necessary to explain the profusion of living beings on earth, that all organisms past and present are related in a historical branching pattern of descent, and that human beings fall into place quite naturally in the web of all life. Now, 150 years later and 200 years after Darwin’s birth, we celebrate the amazingly productive vision and reach of his theory. In this Fall Quarter course, we will meet weekly with leading Darwin scholars from around the country to learn about Darwin’s far-reaching legacy in fields as diverse as anthropology, religion, medicine, psychology, philosophy, literature, and biology. With such a broad reach across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, no wonder the theory of evolution by natural selection has been called “the single best idea, ever.” Presented by the Stanford Continuing Studies Program. Released with a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license.
|1||Video1. Darwin's Legacy: Course Introduction (September 22, 2008)||Professor Durham provides an overview of the course; Professor Robert Siegel touches upon "Darwin's Own Evolution;" Professor Durham returns for a talk on "Darwin's Data;" and the lecture concludes with a panel discussion moderated by Lynn Rothschild. (September 22, 2008)||10/6/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|2||Video2. Science and Religion: Probably Not What You Think (September 29, 2008)||Dr. Scott explores the evolution vs. creationism debate and provides an argument for evolution. The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Brent Sockness and Jeff Wine. (September 29, 2008)||10/6/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|3||Video3. Darwin's Big Book and Its Ideas (October 6, 2008)||Dr. Browne presents a biography on Charles Darwin and explores Darwin's Origin of Species. The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Craig Heller and Robert Proctor. (October 6, 2008)||10/13/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|4||Video4. Darwin and the Evolution of Reasons (October 13, 2008)||Dr. Dennett presents the philosophical importance of Darwin's theory of evolution. The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Hank Greely and Chris Bobonich. (October 13, 2008)||10/21/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|5||Video5. How and Why Species Multiply: The Radiation of Darwin's Finches (October 20, 2008)||The Grants discuss how and why species multiply. The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Carol Boggs and Rodolfo Dirzo. (October 20, 2008)||10/28/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|6||Video6. Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life (October 27, 2008)||Dr. Eldredge discusses Darwin's life and work. The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Ward Watt and Liz Hadly. (October 27, 2008)||11/4/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|7||Video7. Evolution and Human Societies: Potential, Legacy or Process? (November 3, 2008)||Professor Brown speaks about the history and consequences of social Darwinism, and offers insight into new ways of thinking about social evolution. (November 3, 2008)||11/11/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|8||Video8. Genes, Germs, and Cancer: Darwinian Medicine (November 10, 2008)||Dr. Ewald speaks about how several pathogenic viruses have evolved over time to break down the cell's barriers to several types of cancer. (November 10, 2008)||11/19/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|9||Video9. How Has Darwin Influenced How We Think About Behavior and the Brain? (November 17, 2008)||Dr. Fernald discusses how social behavior changes the brains of fish, animals, and humans to adapt to situations typically involving mating behaviors. The lecture is concluded with a panel discussion with Eric Knudsen and Charles Junkerman. (November 17, 2008)||12/3/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
|10||Video10. Learning to See: Darwinian Ways of Meaning (December 1, 2008)||Dr. Levine discusses through analysis of Darwin's literary works, ways of seeing and being enchanted by the world as well as the poetic eloquence of Darwin's prose. The lecture is concluded with a discussion between Dr. Levine and Rob Polhemus. (December 1, 2008)||12/17/2008||Free||View in iTunes|
Informative, Inspiring and Entertaining
First, thanks so much to all involved for making this great series of lectures available. I am enthralled with the series. I encourage others, especially high school students, to watch it. The lectures are delivered with the general public in mind, but expect to be challenged at times. The speakers are eloquent and a joy to listen to. Their love of their subject matter is so evident . In a way, it's like a fan club or convention. They are cheerleaders not only for Darwin, but for contemplative liberal thinking and science education. As much as I have enjoyed being informed of Darwin's genius, I am most impressed with Darwin's industriousness. Darwin can inspire anyone on that level. We are all seeking ways of self-improvement. His was a life dedicated and disciplined to furthering himself and the world. He never became a couch potato, he never "retired". He is a great role model for us all to continue to challenge ourselves our whole life through, to never give up.