Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Evolution and Christianity
Spring 2008 Syllabus Office: SA560a
Office Hours: T 1000-1150, W 1600-1650, Th 1000-1050, F 1400-1450
other times by appointment
Phone: x 5719
Home: 822-1116

You will note that the schedule below is tentative. I will be updating it occsionally on the web. I will announce updates in class, but you should also check my Sci 480 web page for changes!

Schedule: See Evolution and Christianity on my Web Page (

Text: Baker, Catherine and James B. Miller (eds.) The Evolution Dialogues: Science, Christianity, and the Quest for Understanding. AAAS, Washington D.C. (2006).

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.

General: This is a new course and will be a new experience for me. The material we will cover is extremely controversial in the United States with significant social and political impact. It comprizes a significant component in the so-called "culture wars" and "right-wing Republican agenda." I expect and hope to have some interesting, exciting, and fun discussion.

My initial plan is to give an introductory lecture each Tuesday loosely based on the text and have a discussion on the following Thursday. Participation of class members will be important and expected. Obviously, I have my own opinions on this topic. However, my purpose is not to "convert" anyone to my views. Rather, I want folks to think about and understand their own postions and those held by others, particularly arguments regarding the teaching of Evolution and its place in American education.

The text itself is concise and a fairly easy read. I expect folks to read it before class to give us a common background. However, discussions DO NOT have to be restricted to text material. I welcome student suggestions for additional readings and will entertain possible links to interesting sites on the web, though I will make any final determinations on whether to link specific sites via this site.

Attendance is required and will be recorded.

Grading: This is a credit/no credit course. Your grade will be based on attendance/classroom participation and two short papers (check Schedule periodically for dates and topics). You must have passing grades on both to pass the course.

Drop Policy: The last day to withdraw from this course without the instructor’s and Department Chair’s signatures and with no notation of withdrawal is Monday, 12 February. After that time "serious and compelling reasons" are needed to drop this course. Serious and compelling reasons are generally considered to be problems outside of the student's control and which could not be anticipated, such as serious illness or hospitalization. If you do have a problem, please notify me as soon as possible if you think it may require your dropping the class.

Incompletes: Incompletes are generally reserved for students who are unable to complete the class for serious and compelling reasons which occur after the last drop period.

On-line Notes: The notes I post are the notes I use in class. I post them to help you to check your own notes etc. THEY ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR TAKING YOUR OWN NOTES! Most students find note taking an important learning experience. If you use my on-line notes you should be critical when using them - its incredibly easy to screw up and enter small errors (watch your text as well!). If you use the notes and think you've found an error please tell me via e-mail so I may correct them immediately rather than forgetting your comments on the way to my office! I will atttempt to put all of the lecture examples into my web notes to help you out.


If you have a documented learning disability and would like to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible. Our campus Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) can assist you with the accommodation process and can be reached at (707) 826-5392 (TDD). The SDRC is located in House 71 (Little Apartments) off Library Circle.

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© R A Paselk

Last modified 17 January 2008