Cosmos to Humanity-From The Big Bang to the Space Age

Course covers the grandest panorama of all - beginning with the origin of the universe and ending with the rise of humanity. Emphasis is on the greatest questions posed by the human mind. Major topics include the ultimate nature of nature: space-time and matter-energy, origin and ultimate fate of the universe, evolution of galaxies, stars and the elements, origin of the solar system and the Earth, extraterrestrial life, origin of life on earth, the microbial world, plant and animal evolution, primates and the origin and evolution of humans, and Charles Darwin and the process of biological evolution. Discussions cover some of the most interesting and often controversial topics in the natural sciences today including cosmology and dark matter/dark energy, meteorites and life in the solar system, the Snowball Earth hypothesis, chemical evolution of life, the earliest evidence of life on Earth, extremophiles, toxic organisms and biological warfare, the Cambrian explosion, mass extinctions, evolution of humanity, Late Pleistocene-Holocene megafaunal extinctions, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Satisfies the Biological Sciences requirement



General Education Credit: