SCI1200 - Humans, Evolution and Modern Society

General Unit Information


Evolution has shaped, and continues to shape, humans and the world in which we live. Some of the most challenging issues facing society TODAY, such as the battle of the sexes, war and violence, population growth and even the global obesity epidemic can be understood through the process of evolution. An evolutionary perspective also equips us to address emerging issues such as the manipulation of human behaviour, spread of infectious diseases, the rise of allergies, the ethics of cloning, food security, and the biodiversity crisis. This unit will highlight how an appreciation of evolution can transform our understanding of the human condition, modern society, and the profound global challenges that we are currently facing - enabling us to develop robust and creative solutions for the future.

Please note that the unit is made up of 100% in-semester assessment (e.g. mini quizzes and assignment). There is no end-of-semester exam.

See video synopsis of 'SCI1200 - Humans, Evolution and Modern Society'


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Identify and interpret the biggest challenges faced by modern society from an evolutionary perspective;
  2. Describe the fundamentals of evolution, and how these shape the diversity of life on the planet;
  3. Articulate how evolutionary processes have affected and continue to affect the environment in which we live, as well as human health and behaviour;
  4. Differentiate between evidence, interpretation, opinion and fact in evaluating evolutionary perspectives and concepts applied to the development of modern human society.
  5. Effectively synthesise and communicate findings of articles, blogs, book chapters and books written on these issues for the general educated public.

Specific Unit Information

Names Assoc Professor Alistair Evans
Office location 18 Inn (Bld 17) - Rm 225
Office hours By appointment - please e-mail
Technical Coordinator
Name Emily Skoda

Office location 25 Rnf (Bld 18) - Rm 114
Program for 2020
Handbook Entry SCI1200- Synopsis, Assessment & Prerequisites
Schedule (Clayton) SCI1200 - Lecture & Practical Schedule for 2020
Important links
Science Faculty Information for Current Students
University Information for Students - Timetables, Exam, Semester Dates, more.....