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Course Overview

How does evolution happen? Can we observe it in real time? How do new species come about and how long does this take?

When you think about evolution, you may think of Darwin, but modern genetics has transformed our understanding of how evolution happens. This course uses this new genetics-centred approach to explain key concepts in our scientific understanding of evolution.

The course starts with the genetics of inheritance and variation, how natural selection and adaptation leads to speciation, followed by macroevolution and geological time, ending with human evolution.

  • Inheritance and Variation
  • Natural Selection and Adaptation
  • Speciation
  • Macroevolution
  • Geological time
  • Human evolution
  • The course is aimed at primary and secondary school teachers, students, parents, and anyone interested in understanding evolution.
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…
  • Reflect that by biological evolution we mean that many of the organisms that inhabit the Earth today are different from those that inhabited it in the past.
  • Describe how species can change and adapt through naturally occurring genetic variations that are inherited.
  • Understand that natural selection is one of several processes that can bring about evolution, and that natural selection and adaptation can occur over large geological times.
  • Assess fossil evidence for human evolution in the context of the living great apes and modern humans.

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