For general information about online classes, visit the CFI Institute Online
SCI 234: Evolution vs. Creationism May 1 – June 30, 2011
Instructor: John Shook, PhD, CFI director of education Visiting Lecturer: Massimo Pigliucci, PhD, biologist, philosopher, and author
This two-month, eight-module course “teaches the controversy” between science and religion over life’s origins and development. This "controversy" doesn’t belong in schools (thanks to the Constitution) but secularists have to be prepared to defend science in the public square and politics. This class offers a brief review of Darwinian evolution, an explanation of the scientific method, a skeptic’s toolbox of ways to distinguish biology from pseudoscience, and a critical examination of creationism and intelligent design.
Readings: Students will purchase their own copies of these two books: Massimo Pigliucci, Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism and the Nature of Science, and John Shook, The God Debates: A 21st Century Guide. Supplemental papers and lectures will be available online at no extra cost to students.
Your instructors for SCI 234:
Massimo Pigliucci, PhD, isProfessor of Evolution and Philosophy at Stony Brook University in New York. Heresearches and writes on the ecology and evolution of genotype-environmentinteractions (the nature vs. nurture problem). He is a fellow of the AmericanAssociation for the Advancement of Science. He has published over 100 technicalpapers in evolutionary biology and philosophy of science. His books include Tales of the Rational:Skeptical Essays About Nature and Science; Denying Evolution:Creationism, Scientism and the Nature of Science; Making Sense of Evolution; and Nonsense on Stilts: How toTell Science from Bunk. His popular blog and podcast defend scienceand skepticism: Rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com
John Shook, PhD, is director of education and senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry, and is also visiting assistant professor of science education at the University at Buffalo, teaching for its Science and the Public online program. From 2000 to 2006 he was professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University. Shook publishes on philosophical topics regarding science, the mind, humanist ethics, democracy, secularism, and religion, and has debated the existence of God with leading theologians, including William Lane Craig. His most recent book is The God Debates.
About CFI Institute Online courses:
CFI200-level courses are taught at an intellectual level equivalent to anintroductory college course. This course is for adult enrichment andconversation with leading secular thinkers. We only expect students toparticipate in the online class discussion at their own chosen pace. There areno other writing requirements, no tests, no papers, and no grading. Theseclasses are entirely online — everything for the course except the books isprovided on a CFI website. You will read the course lectures, follow links toother webpages, ask your questions, and participate in class discussion withthe instructors and other students on our website.
There is no specific time that you must be online. There is no "live" part to these courses, and you cannot miss anything even if you can only get online at 6am or 11pm — you can log in and participate anytime, day or night, 24/7. A certificate of course completion is available to students who do participate online (as opposed to only lurking and reading, which is also an unobjectionable option for some students). Completion of eight courses at the Expertise 200-level is rewarded with the Institute's Certificate of Expertise.
Course Fees: $90 for general registration; $75 for Friends of the Center; and $20 for college students
In a similar vein, I notice they have this lecture Voices of Reason: Evolution in the Classroom from May 06, 2009.
quote: Join CFI to scrutinize the real state of the teaching of evolution in American classrooms-the forbidden "E" word not as it is portrayed in courtrooms, churches and the media but as it taught-or not taught-by teachers intimidated by the Religious Right to students who may arrive in class believing in the literal story of Genesis. The panel will include David Campbell, a Florida biology teacher profiled in The New York Times (August 24, 2008); Jose Maldonado, principal of Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, and Engineering and an adjunct professor of science education at Teachers College, Columbia University; and our own Matthew LaClair, President of CFI-On Campus and a strong advocate for church-state separation in the classroom. The discussion will be moderated by CFI-NYC program director Susan Jacoby, and a booksigning for the post-election paperback edition of her bestseller The Age of American Unreason will follow.