Cell Biology

Energy and Metabolism (Part 1)

Energy and Metabolism (Part 2)

Classical Genetics

Molecular Genetics (Basic)

Molecular Genetics (Advanced)

Immunology and Homeostasis

Chemical and Neural Signaling

Animal Reproduction and Development

Plant Biology



Controversial Topics

The subject of evolution has, from its very beginnings, been subject to a variety of controversies. One of the most heated and long lasting has been in the area of science and religion. Another controversy, of more recent origin (beginning in 1975) has been in the area of sociobiology. Unfortunately we simply do not have the time to probe these issues in depth, however, we would like to provide you with some resources to further explore these areas on your own if you find these topics of interest.



Sociobiology Lecture (html) (print) (audio 17:01)

Additional Resources for Interested Students

"Chapter 17: The Sociobiological Controversy" from Naturalist By E.O. Wilson

AP Biology Students Meet E.O. Wilson

The Attack on E.O. Wilson from the New York TImes Review of Books November 1975

New York Times Article: Is Jealousy "evolved" in the genes?

New York Times Article: Genetic Basis to Fairness

New York Times Article: Genetic Basis to Fariness (2)

New York Times Editorial on Capuchin Monkey Study

Nature via Nurture By Matt Ridley
•A nice middle ground in the debate

Article in the New York Times about Stephen Pinker's book, The Blank Slate.

Traits Pinker suggests that might be innate.

Interview with Stephen Pinker.

Excellent Review of "The Blank Slate" from the Economist.

An article in the New York Times on what E.O. Wilson is doing post-sociobiology controversy.

Darwin's Rottweiler: Richard Dawkins (Discover Magazine, September 2005)

The Literary Darwinist (A new approach to literary criticism using sociobiology, New York Times, November 2005)

If you are interested in sociobiology and one of its subdisciplines, evolutionary psychology, here are a couple of interesting links.

•The best history of the sociobiology controversy is called, "Defenders of the Truth", by Ullica Segerstrale. Most readers think she has done a very fair job of dissecting the different motivations and tells the story in an unbiased way. If you are interested in reader's reactions to her book you might want to go to to read the reviews. If you want to read the book you are free to borrow my copy.

• The Center for Evolutionary Psychology at UC Santa Barbara has published a primer on evolutionary psychology. It is long, but will give you the current status of this research agenda. The site also lists universities where one can study evolutionary psychology.

Animal Behavior and Sociobiology (McMaster University Lectures)

Science and Religion


Religion and Science (html) (print) (audio 19:17)

Hammack's Personal View of the Science versus Religion Debate

Additional Resources for Interested Students

Francis Collins Interview on Charlie Rose (19 minute interview)
•The interview includes clips from interviews with James Watson, EO Wilson, and Richard Dawkins (all who disagree with Francis Collins)

Francis Collins Lecture at Stanford: God and the Genome (Feb. 5, 2008)

Francis Collin's book: "Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief"

Science and Religion Blog (from Discover Magazine)

Science, Evolution, and Creationism (National Academy of Sciences Press)

Evolution-Religion Debate in the News

New York Times Coverage of Evolution Debate

Public Views on Origin of Life (Pew Charitable Trust Survey Results)

Evolution Resources from the National Academy of Sciences

Dover Trial Transcripts (Fascinating Reading!)

Catholic Church's View of Evolution
Statement on Evolution
by Pope John Paul II

Dialogue/Integration Websites:
If you are interested in issues of the relationship between religion and science a number of websites exist that have well-balanced and interesting information. All these sites represent the view that there can and should be a healthy dialogue between the two disciplines.

•A site that tries to strike a balance in the religion/science debate is Counterbalance. Some of the most interesting are videos of conferences in which all the major players in the evolution/creation debate are featured (both sides). Click on "Info" to the left of the home page and explore all the evolution links. A particularly interesting link is the one entitled, "Evolution and Providence", in which you can view all the talks given at a conference from June 2000. Soon you will be on the cutting edge of the current arguments on both sides of the issue.

•One of the primer places for serious academic research is The Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (located in Berkeley). Within their website is an enormous amount of information.

•John Templeton, the billionaire mutual fund manager, has devoted an enormous amount of his wealth to funding research and education in the area of the relationship between science and religion.The John Templeton Foundation website is an interesting place to look at some of his work.

•A website attempting to generate a dialogue between both disciplines. According to their mission statement: Science & Spirit explores how science and religion can work together to address the vital issues of our time. Life's complexities can weigh heavy on the spirit. Looking at them through the lenses of both science and religion offers insight neither discipline provides alone. We appreciate serious science, and we cover a world of faiths. Our mission is to explore the integration of the scientific and spiritual aspects of our culture in a way that is accessible and relevant to everyday living.

•For a specifically Christian response to these issues the American Scientific Affiliation is a good site to examine.

Science vs. Religion (other sites of possible interest from many different perspectives)

The Meaing of Life (Video interviews of famous scientists and thinkers in the religion/science debates)

Gifford Lectures (Yearly lectures given in Scotland for over 100 years dealing with religion and science)

Discovery Institute Evolution Site (an organization advocating the teaching of "Intelligent Design")

Ken Miller's Site (Professor at Brown University)