Miller = “Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution”
8/27-8/31 Introduction to each other, the Introductory Seminar, and the Honors Program
Honors Program and Intro Seminar Issues, Time Management
Miller Chapter 1
9/3 Labor Day-No class (a good day to read your textbooks)
9/5-9/7 Choosing topics for papers and presentations
Writing hints and Plagiarism
What is a reflection?
Miller Chapter 2
9/10-9/14 Ed Schultz-Religion in School, & Texas Politics: A Comparison and Critical Analysis of the 2012
Democrat and Republican Platforms
Miller Chapter 3
9/17-9/21 Mike Collins-Darwinism, both Scientific and Social, in America after 1859 with possible discussion of
The Scopes Trial in 1925
Miller Chapter 4
9/24 Class discussion 9/28 : Reflections #1 due
9/26-9/28 MBTI verification and validation
Miller Chapter 5
10/1-10/5 Jeff Blacklock-School Prayer-An Evolution of the Separation of Church and State in the United States
Miller Chapter 6
10/8 Class discussion 10/12: Reflections #2 due
10/10-10/12 Library Week-Meet in the Atrium by the Honors Program Lounge
Miller Chapter 7
10/15 Term paper prospectus due
10/15-10/19 Linda Veazey-Court Battles over the Teaching of Creation science vs. Evolution in Schools
Miller Chapter 8
10/22-10/26 Kirsten Lodge-The Western Perception of Animals from Antiquity to the Present
Miller Chapter 9
10/29 Class discussion 11/2: Reflections #3 due
10/31-11/2 Oral Presentation issues: Do’s and Don’ts; Library time
11/5-11/9 Candice Fulton- From Magic to Chemistry, Experimental Trials and Tribulations of Famous Religious
Scientists, and Science - a Study Tool, not an Explanation nor a Replacement for Faith (1 topic per
11/12-11/16 Jeff Stambaugh-The birth, Growth, Maturity, and Decline (Death?) of Research in Motion
11/16 Oral presentation abstract due
11/19 Class discussion 11/26: Reflections #4 due
11/21-11/23 Thanksgiving-No Class
11/26-11/30 Student Presentations week 1
12/3 Term paper due
12/3-12/7 Student Presentations week 2
The course: Here is the official course description:
This team-taught, interdisciplinary class is designed to guide Honors students in their transition to the University, to sharpen their academic skills, and to introduce them to University faculty members representing various fields of study. In this course, Honors students learn how to use various research methods to acquire and process knowledge in different fields, how to relate ideas learned in one discipline to those learned in others, and how to participate meaningfully in a learning community.
Learning Goals: Students in this class will develop the ability to:
Your text will look at religious critiques of evolution and use science to challenge them, and then turn around and dissect how science explains the physical world and not the domain of God. Regardless of your position, the ability to understand, question, hear another side, and think for yourself are essential to a well-educated Honors student.
You will hear presentations from faculty members representing seven different academic departments. Each faculty member will discuss some aspect of their discipline and how it has evolved (changed) over time. Some of the topics will directly relate to the science of evolution while others will look at change within an academic field-what we thought/did then and what we think/do now. The goal is to expose Honors students to the wide breadth of disciplines on campus, how different disciplines define and approach problems, and how the disciplines have changed over time.
In addition to being exposed to a variety of faculty and disciplines, we’ll spend some time scattered throughout the semester focusing on your transition to the University and into the Honors Program. This will involve your completion of a personality inventory (MBTI) as well as working knowledge of the library.
Class Participation: Academic communities thrive on the sharing of well-thought out ideas. Students should read ahead of time, review notes from previous speakers, and come prepared to listen to and share ideas. Although class attendance is not an official part of the grade, excessive absences is an indicator of one’s commitment to this learning community and may impact continuation in the Honors Program. See the 2012-2014 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar on Class Attendance Policy (pg. 70-71). As of the 5th absence, a meeting with Dr. Vandehey will be required and additional work may be assigned (e.g., an additional term paper on attendance and its impact on GPA-very boring!!).
Reflections are take-home and involve writing responses to a collection of prompts over the guest speakers and the text. This may be your first experience forming a written reaction based upon your thoughts while also using the information provided by the text and speaker to support your points. Answers should be original, logical, and demonstrate your time and attention to the material.
Term Paper: You will write one term paper on some aspect of the text and/or presenters. Papers of exceptional quality may be eligible for submission to a competition sponsored by the Great Plains Honors Council. Papers will be a minimum of 7 pages typed text not including the title page and reference page. Writing style will be chosen by the instructor (e.g., MLA, APA, etc.). The paper topic will be approved after the prospectus is turned in and reviewed.
Oral Presentation: Student presentations will be given during the last two weeks of class and, if necessary, during the scheduled final exam period. Presentations should be about 12 minutes long and include a Powerpoint presentation. A good oral presentation may result in an invitation to present at the Great Plains Honors Conference in the spring.
Grades: Your grade will be based on several items:
Four in-class Reflections* 40% 9/28, 10/12, 11/2, and 11/26
Term Paper Prospectus 10% 10/15
Term Paper 20% 12/3
Oral Presentation Outline 10% 11/16
Oral Presentation 20% 11/26-12/10
* As people are learning how to think and write, only 1 rewrite will be allowed on the first two reflections. No rewrites will be allowed on the 3rd or 4th reflections.
Electronic Contact: I require 5 working days to be able to read and respond to all email. Please note that my spam filter does keep some emails from getting to me (most recently my wife). In addition, I do not check email after 5 pm nor on weekends/holidays. My cell phone is to be used only by students who have been given it by me (e.g., honor society officers, graduate students). Please do not text me on my cell unless I have personally given you my cell number.
Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn all cell phones and pagers off (no sound) during class. DO NOT text message during class. DO NOT answer your cell phone in class. Exceptions include emergency calls (e.g., birth of child, family member in hospital). Students who are unable to comply will not be allowed to attend class.
Cheating Policy: Any evidence of cheating on reflections, the paper, or the presentation may result in a zero for that assignment, dismissal from this class with a grade of “F,” and/or dismissal from the Honors Program. We will discuss plagiarism in this class-please pay special attention.
Travel Plans: Please do not make travel plans during finals week. The final will be given when the university has scheduled it as per the schedule of classes.