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Satan Science: Misunderstood and Misused Concepts of Biology

Science literacy and an understanding of the scientific process are in decline. This signature course is designed to partially address these concerns by focusing on commonly misunderstood and often misused concepts of biology. We will briefly discuss the scientific process and the value of evidence based conclusions, the dangers of Lysenkoism, followed by conversations about what a theory and hypothesis actually represent from a scientific point of view, and of how these are regularly misunderstood by the general public. Finally, we will have detailed discussions about important biological concepts that are commonly misunderstood or intentionally misused to sway public opinion. Topics to discuss include (but are not limited to) evolution, climate change, and vaccinations. By the end of the course, students should better understand the importance of these scientific conclusions, be able to critically evaluate scientific data, and be able to identify misleading, non-scientific arguments.

Section

F 04

Day/Time

MW 12:00-12:50

Professor

Michael Scott Burt

Dept.

Biology