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Week Four: Charles Darwin and the Evolution of Life on Earth


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Week four lecture preparation

For this week you must have read chapter 4 of Maps of Time.

Also, you should work your way through the following pages dealing with Darwin, Thomas Malthus and the concept of Natural Selection, within the online resource, The History of Evolutionary Thought at:

Tutorial for week five (beginning 19 August)

You need to have read following articles:

  • McNeill, William H. “Passing Strange: The Convergence of Evolutionary Science with Scientific History.” History & Theory 40, no. 1 (2001): 1.
  • Fracchia, Martin and Lewontion, R.C., "Does Culture Evolve?", History and Theory, 8 (1999): 52.
  • Stuart-Fox, Martin, "Evolutionary Theory of History", History and Theory, 38, No. 4: 33.

and attempt to answer the following questions:

  • What value might there be for historians in applying Darwinian theory to the study of past phenomena?
  • What problems can you see in developing a "Darwinian" approach to history?

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