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Week Five (20 August): the Evolution of Life on Earth

Listen to the podcast of this week's lecture

Transcript of this week's podcast

Copies of slides shown in this week's lecture

Week five lecture preparation

Your required readings for this week are chapters 4 and 5 of Maps of Time.

You should investigate the resources presented by Eric J. Chaisson of the Wright Center for Science Education at Tufts University:

Tutorial in week seven - beginning 2 September

For your tutorial this week you are required to research one virus or bacterium and explain how it has had a significant harmful or beneficial influence on the course of human history.

The following web sites will be helpful:

Useful video sources

DNA: The Secrets of Life, parts 1-5, at

DNA - 1of 5 - The Secret of Life by JamesWatson

DNA - 2of 5 - Playing God by JamesWatson

DNA - 3of 5 - The Human Race by JamesWatson

Suggested further reading

The following works in the UQ library will be of help in extending your knowledge of what we will aim to cover in this week's lecture and tutorial:

  • Knoll, Andrew H. 2003. Life on a young planet :The first three billion years of evolution on earth. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Mayr, Ernst. 1976. Evolution and the diversity of life :Selected essays. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University press.
  • Olendzenski, Lorraine, and Lynn Margulis. 1992. Environmental evolution :Effects of the origin and evolution of life on planet earth. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
  • Slatkin, Montgomery. 1995; 1983. Exploring evolutionary biology :Readings from american scientist. Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates.
  • Tudge, Colin, and Colin Tudge. 2000. In mendel's footnotes :An introduction to the science and technologies of genes and genetics from the nineteenth century to the twenty-second. London: Jonathan Cape.
  • Wakeford, Tom. 2001. Liaisons of life :From hornworts to hippos, how the unassuming microbe has driven evolution. New York: John Wiley.

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