Drawing on research from genetics, demography, psychology, microbiology and medicine, Dr. Scott Solomon reviews our evolutionary past, examining how we continue to evolve and considering our future as a species.
What is the future of human evolution? Scott Solomon, Ph.D., biologist and writer, reviews our evolutionary past, examining the ways in which we are continuing to evolve and considering our future as a species. This course draws on research from fields as diverse as genetics, demography, psychology, microbiology and medicine. We explore questions such as how existing technology and modern medicine affect natural selection and consider how future developments—such as germline gene editing and space colonization—may affect the ultimate fate of Homo sapiens.
Scott E. Solomon, Ph.D., is a biologist and writer. He received a doctorate in ecology, evolution and behavior from The University of Texas at Austin where he examined the evolutionary basis of biological diversity in the Amazon Basin. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the State University of São Paulo in Rio Claro, Brazil. Dr. Solomon is now a professor in the practice in the Department of BioSciences at Rice University, where he teaches courses in introductory biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, insect biology, tropical field biology and scientific communication. He is the author of “Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution.”
Term: Fall 2017
Start Date: Sept. 28, 2017
End Date: Nov. 02, 2017
Schedule: 1–2:30 p.m.
Length: Six Thursdays
Location: Rice campus
Early Registration: $180 if registering by Sept. 14
+ Evolution 101: How does evolution work, and what do we know about the history of human evolution?
+ Recent human evolution: What has genome data revealed about the ways in which we are still evolving?
+ Modernization and our ongoing evolution: How is economic development changing the way we evolve?
+ The future of the human microbiome: How have the microorganisms that live in and on our bodies influenced our evolutionary future and our ongoing evolution?
+ Sex and the future: How will birth control, assisted reproductive technology and the ways in which we choose our sexual partners influence our future evolution?
+ Our ultimate fate: What are the long-term prospects for our species? Will we become extinct, or might our descendants evolve into a new human species?