Syllabus: BIOLOGY 4250 -- Evolution
Course Sort Number: 80599
Fall Semester 2019 -- 10:50 a.m. - 12:05 p.m., Monday & Wednesday, Memorial 101B.

Dr. James K. Adams -- 234 Pope Student Center      Off.: 706-272-4427     Cell: 678-767-5938
E-mail:       Faculty website:
Office Hours:  M & W -- 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.; T & Th -- 8:15 to 9:15 a.m.; T also 10:55 to 11:55 a.m.
Tuesday afternoon and Friday by appointment

Textbook: Evolutionary Analysis (5th Edition), by Freeman and Herron


Syllabus: BIOLOGY 4250 -- Evolution. 1

Weekly Schedule: 2

August 12 - 15. 2

August 19 - 22. 2

August 26 - 29. 2

September 4. 2

September 9 - 12. 2

September 16 - 19. 2

September 23 - 26. 3

September 30 - October 3. 3

October 9. 3

October 14 - 17. 3

October 28 - 31. 3

November 4 - 7. 3

November 11 - 14. 3

November 18 - 21. 3

November 25. 3

December 2. 3

December 9. 3








CARE Team: 5

Disability Access. 6

Ethical Conduct. 6

Academic Dishonesty. 6

Classroom Behavior. 6

Course Withdrawal Statement. 6

Full Withdrawal Statement. 6

Grade Appeals. 6

Academic Progression. 7

Title IX Information. 7

Full URL Links. 7


Weekly Schedule:

August 12 - 15:  I will go over the course policies for the fall. I will then introduce chapter 1 (please
read page 1), and ask you to read that chapter more thoroughly on your own.  I will then cover
chapter 2, the pattern of evolution, in detail.

August 19 - 22:  I will cover Chapter 3, Darwinian Natural Selection and the Modern Synthesis (with
genetics).  For a discussion of the arguments against evolution, and how to scientifically refute these,
read pages 98 - 104.  I'll also begin talking about estimating Evolutionary trees (chap. 4).

August 26 - 29:  I will continue with an overview of Evolutionary trees, and discuss the Phylogenetic
Tree assignment that will be due near the end of the semester.  I then will discuss variation among
individuals (chapter 5), which includes a detailed discussion of replication, transcription, translation,
and the mutations that can generate new alleles/genes.  You SHOULD know this already from your
Genetics class.

Monday, September 2: Labor Day Holiday

September 4: We will finish our discussion of Chapter 5, and begin our discussion of chapter 6 on
Mendelian Population Genetics and the Hardy-Weinberg principles, talking specifically about two
of the assumptions of H-W -- mutation and selection.

September 9 - 12: Monday, Sept. 9 we will take EXAM 1 on chapters 1 through 5.  Then on
Wednesday we will continue talking about Chapter 6, and may begin Chapter 7, dealing with the
other three assumptions of the Hardy-Weinberg principles -- migration, drift and non random mating.

September 16 - 19:  We will finish our discussion about Chapter 7, and then talk about the first
two sections in Chapter 8 on Evolution at Multiple Loci: linkage and sex (pages 291 - 313).

September 23 - 26: We will discuss Chapter 9, also dealing with Evolution at Multiple Loci, but
in this case discuss the quantitative genetics aspect of this phenomenon, namely the effects of multiple
alleles on single traits.

September 30 - October 3: On Monday, will finish whatever is left of Chapter 9 on quantitative
genetics and begin discussion of Chapter 10 on Adaptation: Form and Function.  On Wednesday,
October 2
, we will take EXAM 2 on chapters 6 through 9.

Monday and Tuesday, October 7 & 8: Fall Break

October 9:  We will finish our discussion of adaptation in chapter 10.

October 14 - 17:  We will return to chapter 8 to talk about the adaptive significance of sex (pages
314 - 324, section three). We will then start a discussion of chapter 11 on sexual selection.

October 21 - 24: We will finish whatever is left of Chapter 11, and do most of chapter 12 on the
Evolution of Social Behavior, which involves Kin Selection as well.

October 28 - 31: We will finish the material for exam 3 by finishing chapter 12 and looking at Aging
and Life History Characteristics (Chapter 13). We will emphasize certain features such as fecundity
and lifespan, and trade-offs that often occur between these.

November 4 - 7Monday, November 4, we will take EXAM 3 over chapters 10 through 13
(and part of 8)
.  On Wednesday, we will then talk about mechanisms of speciation (chapter 16).

November 11 - 14:  I will continue talking about the mechanisms of speciation, and then we will
begin an intriguing discourse on the origins of life (chapter 17).

November 18 - 21:  I will continue talking about the theories of the origins of life and delve a bit into
Precambrian evolution.  I will then talk about chapter 18 on the Cambrian Explosion and beyond. 
You WILL be responsible for major events in the evolutionary timeline.

November 25:  I will finish chapter 18, and hit a couple of highlights from chapter 15 on C values,
coding and non-coding DNA, transposons, introns and exons, etc. 

Wednesday and Thursday, November 27 & 28: Thanksgiving Holiday

December 2:  Today will be EXAM 4 over chapters 16 through 18 (with a little bit of 15)

December 9 (Monday):  FINAL EXAM (cumulative), 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Withdrawal date is Friday, October 18, 2019.



Biology 4250 – Fall 2019; Dr. James K. Adams – 234 Pope Student Center

            Attendance in class is recommended, but if you are absent, YOU are responsible for the material
covered as well as any announcements and assignments given in class.  Remember, YOU (or somebody
close to you) are paying for your education, so you actually get less for your money if you do not attend
class!  Attendance to all tests is required.  Make up tests will be available only if you have notified me
beforehand that you will be absent, except in VERY EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES.  To reach me,
call my office at 272-4427.  Alternatively, you can call the biology office (272-4440) and leave a message
for me; or you can call me at home until 9:00p.m. at 706-602-6993 (Calhoun; a local call from the Dalton
area).  If you miss a test without contacting me, you will receive a zero for that test/lab (except in extreme

circumstances).   When you do contact me, you must tell me exactly why you missed, when you will make
up the test, and schedule it within a couple of days.  In most cases, MAKE-UP TESTS ARE ESSAY
.  If you miss the scheduled make up time, you will receive a zero – no excuses (again except in
extreme circumstances).  Anyone caught cheating on any assignment or test will also receive a zero for
that work only – everyone is allowed one bad decision (but only one).  A second instance of cheating will
result in an “F” for the course.

Grading scale:
90 - 100%:       A
80 - 89%:         B
70 - 79%          C
60 - 69%          D
<60%               F

            Grades may be subject to some curving after all points are totaled at the end of the semester.  You
will be notified of such at that time.

            The tentative point total for the course is 775 points (see below).  I reserve the right to add or delete
a couple of assignments/quizzes at my discretion, though this is UNLIKELY.

4 exams @ 100 points each                 400
Final Exam                                         150
Hardy-Weinberg assignment                 50
Phylogenetic tree exercise                   100
3 paper reviews @ 25 pts. each            75
Total : 775

You may drop/withdraw from the course without penalty until Friday, October 18, 2019.

DESCRIPTION OF THE COURSE:   This course introduces you to the basic fundamentals of the
concept of evolution.  You will learn about the overwhelming evidence (both past and current) for
evolution, as well as the method by which evolution proceeds – mutation, followed by natural selection. 
We will investigate the major mechanisms by which natural selection results in change, and how in turn
this results in organismal adaptations.  We will then, in turn discuss how different adaptations in different
populations may result in new species – speciation – and how this explains the history of life on earth.  We
will end with a look at evolutionary history, and a brief look at DNA itself, coding and non-coding, etc.

LATE PAPER POLICY: You may have several assignments due during the semester. Due dates will be
announced in class and adhered to stringently. Any assignments that are turned in late will be assessed a
penalty of 10% per classroom day. Please be aware, however, that this also means that an assignment
turned in completed but one day late is better than an assignment turned in on time but only half done.
Also, for obvious reasons, assignments cannot be turned in after everyone else's has been graded and
returned (which is usually quite promptly); an attempt to do so will be refused and you will receive a zero
for that exercise. Exceptions will be made for those with valid excuses.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:   Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:       
1.         Describe why all organisms are related, and indicate what it means from an evolutionary
perspective to say organisms are closely related.
2.         Describe the basic premises and process of natural selection, indicating why it is that it virtually
must be true that organisms change through time.
3.         Demonstrate an understanding of the main processes involved in evolution: mutation, selection
(including sexual, kin, etc.), migration, drift, isolation    
4.         Demonstrate an understanding of the major possible mechanisms involved in speciation.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS: For those of you taking Evolution, you have already been exposed to General Biology at the college level, and are taking or have taken Genetics as well – as such, you have some idea of how much work
outside of class is necessary to succeed .  Even so, it is important to come to class each day prepared.  This means that you will need to read ahead on the assignments, and also put in a significant amount of time studying each week.  It is extremely dangerous to fall behind in this course, as it will be extremely difficult to catch up.  Additionally, you will be expected to demonstrate both analytical and critical thinking skills in this class, which means you will be asked from time to time to distinguish between very similar answers, as well as apply information you know to novel situations.  Perhaps the most important thing to remember as you learn the material is to ask questions.  In class, do not hesitate to raise your hand when you are confused, and be sure to jot down questions to be asked later while you are studying.  There is no better way to learn material than to ASK!!  If you do not understand and do not ask, then you put yourself in an extremely dangerous situation since a lot of information you will be expected to learn builds on other material you are expected to know!  I will be happy to help as much as I can, but I can’t help you beyond class if you don’t ask for help.

COPYING POLICY:  My policy for cheating is clearly stated above.  However, not everyone has the
same understanding as to what constitutes cheating.  Let me clarify for the purposes of homework.  I
encourage collaboration, the sharing and discussing of ideas/materials.  Science could not progress without
working together.  HOWEVER, answers to questions and whole assignments should be your OWN work. 
Technically, if you are working together with someone and you come up with the answer to a question,
I understand perfectly well how you could end up writing similar words down for the answer.  But if they
are almost or exactly the same, that could be interpreted as one person doing the work and the other person
simply copying down that person's answer – I, and DSC, consider that CHEATING.  So, be VERY careful
when working on items to be turned in. The first time I find examples of this behavior I will grade one
person's work and divide the points equally among however many share the same answer.  For example, if
a question is being answered that is worth four points, and four people share the exact same wording on an
answer (and have it correct), then each person will get one point total.  Hopefully this is clear; see
Academic Honesty
, below.


CARE Team:

The Campus Assessment, Response, and Evaluation Team, also known as CARE, at Dalton State College
engages in proactive and collaborative approaches to identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks associ-
ated with members of the campus who exhibit concerning or unusual behaviors.  Report a concern through
the CARE referral form at
CARE Reporting Form [i].  Should you have questions, contact the Dean of Students' Office at 706-272-4428.

Disability Access  (From Disability Access [ii] website)
Students with disabilities or special needs are encouraged to contact Disability Access.  In order to make
an appointment or to obtain information on the process for qualifying for accommodations, the student
should visit the
Disability Access Library Guide [iii] or contact the Disability Access office.

Contact information:  Andrea Roberson, Associate Director of Disability Access and Student Support Ser-
vices, Pope Student Center, upper level, Dean of Students Office 706-272-2524;

Ethical Conduct

Academic Dishonesty:           Cheating and plagiarism are a part of the Dalton State Code of Student Conduct, which can be found in its most updated form at Dalton State Student Code of Conduct [iv]. ANY assistance provided
or given in any way toward work in a class constitutes cheating, unless such behavior is authorized by your
instructor. Additionally, any use of the ideas or words of others should be noted, or this will constitute plagiarism. Using another students’ work or collaborating on an assignment not designated as collaborative is unacceptable. Furthermore, presenting work that was completed for another class, while not plagiarism technically, is not the same as presenting original work, and is therefore unacceptable unless it has been authorized by your instructor.  For more details on what Dalton State considers to be Academic Dishonesty, please review the Code of Student Conduct. Instructors will assign grades based on classroom performance. Additional sanctions may be provided as a learning experience from the Student Conduct process.

Classroom Behavior: Dalton State is committed to respect via the Roadrunner Respect pledge. To learn more, please visit Roadrunner Respect. [v] “I pledge to show my fellow Roadrunner students, faculty, staff, and administration respect by treating others the way they want to be treated and by thinking about others first before making decisions that might affect them.”

Course Withdrawal Statement

The last day to drop this class without penalty (a W or a required signature) is . If you complete the proper paperwork to drop the course by this date, you will be assigned a grade of W. After this date, withdrawal without penalty is permitted only in cases of Extreme Hardship[vi] as determined by the Vice President for Academic Affairs; otherwise a grade of WF will be issued. Students who fail to complete the official drop/withdrawal procedure will receive the grade of F. Withdrawal from class is a student responsibility. The grade of W counts as hours attempted for the purposes of financial aid.

Full Withdrawal Statement

The proper form for withdrawing from all classes at the college after the official drop/add period but before the published withdrawal date (Academic Campus Calendar [vii]) is the Schedule Adjustment Form [viii]  All students must meet with a staff member at the Dean of Students office in the upper-level of the Pope Student Center to initiate the withdrawal process and complete an exit interview.  After meeting with the staff member, students will then finalize the withdrawal process in the Enrollment Services Office.

Grade Appeals

A student may file a formal challenge to a grade if there is unequivocal evidence that one or more of the following applies:

a)       It was a direct result of arbitrary and capricious conduct on the part of the instructor;

b)      The instructor discriminated against the student on the basis of a protected classification as the term is defined by Federal Law, Georgia State Law, or the Administrative Code of the City of Dalton;

c)       The grade was incorrectly calculated;

d)      A clerical error occurred in recording the grade; or

e)       A mitigating circumstance prevented the student from completing a final assignment or attending the final exam.

To appeal a grade, the student must notify the instructor in writing no later than two days after the posting of final grades. See Grade Changes and Appeals [ix] for the complete documentation.

Academic Progression

(Last Modified May 2018)

To remain in academically good standing, students must maintain an institutional GPA of 2.0 or higher.  Students who do not maintain a 2.0 move through a sequence of statuses ranging from Academic Warning to Academic Probation to Academic Suspension to Academic Dismissal.  See Academic Progress [x] for the complete documentation.

Title IX Information

Student Sexual Misconduct Policy [xi]

(Last Modified May 2018)

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), the University System of Georgia (USG) does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any of its education programs or activities or in employment. The USG is committed to ensuring a safe learning and working environment for all members of the USG community. To that end, this Policy prohibits sexual misconduct, as defined herein.

Please visit the Title IX at Dalton State web page [xii] for additional information on the policy [xiii], How to Report [xiv], Resources [xv], and Campus Programs [xvi]

Full URL Links

[i] CARE Reporting Form:

[ii] Disability Access:

[iii] Disability Access Library Guide:

[iv] Dalton State Student Code of Conduct:


[v] Roadrunner Respect:


[vi] Extreme Hardship:


[vii] Academic Campus Calendar:


[viii] Scheduled Adjustment Form:


[ix] Grade Appeals:


[x] Academic Progression:


[xi] Student Sexual Misconduct Policy:

[xii] Title IX at Dalton State web page:


[xiii] Title IX Policy:


[xiv] Title IX How to Report:


[xv] Title IX Resources:


[xvi] Title IX Campus Programs: