The Evolution of Cognition.
9 units (3-0-6); second term.
By many measures, Homo sapiens is the most cognitively sophisticated animal on the planet. Not only does it live in a huge variety of habitats, and not only has it transformed its environment in unprecedented ways, but it is also responsible for such cultural artifacts as language, science, religion, and art. These are achievements that other species, however successful they may be in other respects, have not accomplished. This course investigates the cognitive, behavioral, and environmental bases for humans' surprising cultural dominance of our planet. Possible topics include the evolution of language, the evolution of morality, the evolution of religion, the evolution of cooperation, and the advent of technology, math, science, and the Internet. Contact the instructor to find out what the topic in any given term is.