ANIM1001 The Darwinian Revolution

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Science students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 1 elective
This unit will emphasise the global impact that Darwin's theory of evolution has had on a range of human endeavours. The unit provides an engaging environment for understanding how evolutionary principles have shaped contemporary human populations and global human endeavours, such as the need to communicate through language, to feed ourselves, fight disease, design our everyday products, conduct business transactions, and fuel our artistic talents. The unit will also explore the darker side of Darwinism, tackling unsettling topics such as ‘scientific racism', colonialism, and the basis for human conflict. In doing so the unit explores the variation in culture and religious belief that is so important in developing an objective understanding of cultural diversity. Students will gain an understanding of how Darwinian principles can be used to help us understand our own actions, but also to respond to some of the biggest challenges facing humankind, including the loss of biodiversity, climate change and disease. Overall, students will gain a broad understanding of what it is to be human, in the context of evolution, in a culturally diverse and environmentally challenged world..
Students are able to (1) have a broad understanding of evolutionary theory and its applications globally and in culturally diverse contexts; (2) appreciate the multidisciplinary impacts of Darwinian thinking on a diverse range of human endeavours and how our own endeavours sometimes feed back into Darwinian thinking and theory; and (3) critically assess contemporary and sometimes controversial topics through discussion, online forums and through online resources.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) final examination; (2) online quizzes and activities; and (3) Report and contribution to Q&A. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Joseph Tomkins and Associate Professor Jonathan Evans
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week (24 hours); practicals/labs/online assessment activities: Variable hours over 12 weeks
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.