2023-2024 University Catalog 
    Apr 16, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog

CORE S113 - How to Build a Baby

If one were a highly developed, extraterrestrial scientist with advanced technology to engineer organisms from other planets, how would one build a human baby? What kind of brain would one design? What kinds of social, emotional, and cognitive predispositions would be included? What kind of environment would one provide? To answer these questions, one must determine what is innate and what is learned in human development. Although this “nature-nurture” question can be traced back to ancient philosophers (right here on Earth!), modern-day science has made great strides in exploring (and reformulating) this question. In this class, students first explore some pop-culture approaches to this issue. Then, they briefly trace the history of the debate to its foundations in classical and modern philosophy. Finally, students compare these philosophical and pop-culture perspectives to modern-day scientific approaches. This is accomplished through primary and secondary readings, class discussions, and group presentations. In the end, students may discover that the answers to the “nature-nurture” question are not on a planet far, far way - but rather closer to home than they have ever been.

Credits: 1.00
Prerequisites: None
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: No Junior, Senior
Area of Inquiry: None
Liberal Arts Practices: None
Core Component: Sciences

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