Michael Zerella's research has focused on the conceptual basis of evolutionary theory and biological mechanisms. He has argued that large parts of the conceptual basis for evolutionary theory that was formed during the early to mid-20th century is inadequate for proper understanding and description of how adaptive evolution by natural selection really works. He also works to introduce biology teachers to philosophy of biology so that they may use it to deepen classroom discussions and enhance student understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of science in general and of biology in particular.
philosophy of biology, laws of nature, biological mechanisms, natural selection, teleology
PHIL 1200 - Contemporary Social Problems
Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
Examines competing positions in debates over a wide variety of controversial moral, social and political issues. Topics may include: abortion, world poverty, animal rights, immigration, physician-assisted suicide, freedom of religion, hate speech, cloning, income inequality, pornography, gun rights, racial profiling, capital punishment, overpopulation, prostitution, drug legalization, torture. Formerly titled 'Philosophy and Society.' Repeatable up to 6 credit hours.
PHIL 3430 - History of Science: Newton to Einstein
History of physical and biological science, from the epoch-making achievements of Charles Darwin in biology to the dawn of the 20th century revolutions in physics, chemistry and genetics. Deals with the success of the mechanical philosophy of nature and its problems. Recommended prerequisite: 6 hours of philosophy coursework.