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First Year Seminar

Spring 2005




FYS 101B  First Year Seminar (AH) Science Verses                  3 credits
          Religion: The Battle of Evolution                 

          Grade Method: REG
          GFR/GER:Meets  A/H. GDR:Meets H.  There is
          no  more  classic argument  than that over
          the    superiority   of   science   versus
          religion.   Theis   debate   has   sparked
          controversy  for centuries on many issues,
          but   has   been  most  prominent  in  the
          discussion  of evolution. Did Darwin empty
          the churches of Europe? Does the theory of
          evolution   point   to   a  world  without
          purpose?   Is   evolution   an   atheists'
          religion?    With    both   sides   deeply
          entrenched  in their  perspectives, little
          dialogue  has  actually taken  place. This
          interdisciplinary   course   is   such   a
          dialogue.  With readings spanning history,
          biology,   sociology,   and  theology,  we
          explaore  the  origins of  modern science,
          the  ideological split  between the Church
          and  science,  the  rise  of evolutionalry
          theory,  and the  Creationist response. We
          will   trace  the  debate  from  the  15th
          Century  to  the present day.  The goal of
          the course is not to resolve the debate on
          Evolution,  but to  understand the origin,
          construction,    and    impact   on   both
          perspectives.   Much  class  time  will be
          occupied  by student  presentations, panel
          debates,  and class discussions, requiring
          everybody's  active participation. For our
          complete  course description, please visit
          our                                website
          at:www.umbc.edu/provost/FYS/Fall2004Course
          COURSE WILL MEET IN ECS 333.
[8032] 0101 TuTh.......2:30pm- 3:45pm (TBA)           FREELAND, S
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FYS 102   First Year Seminar (SS) Seeing Truth and                3 credits
          Justice: Human Rights Today                       

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GFR/GER:Meets  SS. GDR:Meets S.  Defining,
          defending  and spreading  human rights has
          become  an important social, political and
          cultural   project   around   the   world.
          Although   governments  are  charged  with
          deepening   this   project,  it  is  often
          governments     that    violate    rights.
          Unfortunately,  recent years have seen too
          many  cases of  governments systematically
          violating   the   rights   of  groups  and
          individuals.  In  this class  we will read
          about   how   people   determine   who  is
          responsible  for committing  these crimes,
          establish  how justice can be achieved and
          recommend   how   these   actions  can  be
          prevented  in the future.  We will discuss
          what  human  rights mean,  where they come
          from  and how they are defended, and learn
          what  kind of work  human rights activists
          and  scholars  engage in.  Finally we will
          consider the state of human rights here in
          the   United   States   and  discuss  what
          responsibilities  we  as citizens  have to
          safeguard  and promote human rights in our
          own communities. Students will be asked to
          do two kinds of research: investigation of
          a   particular   case   of   human  rights
          violations  and  the  mechanisms  used  to
          resolve those cases, and evaluation of the
          kinds of information available through the
          internet  about  human  rights  and  human
          rights  organizations.   In the  spirit of
          promoting  knowledge of  human rights, the
          class   will   consider   appropriate  and
          effective   ways   of   disseminating  its
          research.
[2969] 0101 TuTh.......2:30pm- 3:45pm (ITE 237)       STOLLE-MCALLIS


FYS 102A  First Year Seminar (SS) Sexuality, Health               3 credits
          and Human Rights                                  

(PermReq) Grade Method: REG
          GFR/GER:Meets  SS.  GDR:Meets S.   Who has
          the right to access scientific information
          about  individuals'  sexuality  and sexual
          health? What privacy rights do people have
          in   their   sexual   relationships?   Who
          controls  when and if one has children? In
          the  last  decade,  scholars  and advocacy
          organizations   have   been   asking  such
          questions  that link sexuality, health and
          human rights. Increasingly, these linkages
          are  made by human rights advocates, those
          marginalized   by   their   gender  and/or
          sexuality,  feminists and professionals in
          the  health and family planning fields. In
          this seminar, we will consider a number of
          sexuality,   health   and   human   rights
          questions: What are sexual rights? What is
          meant  by sexual health? How important are
          sexual  rights? What  characteristics of a
          society  promote or  hinder sexual rights?
          What  responsibilities are  tied to sexual
          rights? Do views on sexual rights conflict
          with  the  general welfare  of society? To
          what   extent  do  Americans  have  sexual
          rights?  What laws restrict sexual rights?
          Students  will become  sensitized to views
          on      sexual      rights     and     the
          reasons/justifications     for     various
          perspectives.   In this  process they will
          learn   how  to  critique  social  science
          research,     evaluate    strengths    and
          weaknesses  of this research, and identify
          common  errors of  scientific and everyday
          reasoning.
[2970] 0101 TuTh.......1:00pm- 2:15pm (PUP 204)       LOTTES, I


FYS 102B  First Year Seminar (SS) What Should                     3 credits
          Government Do?                                    

          Grade Method: REG
          GFR/GER:Meets   SS.   GDR:Meets   S.    In
          thinking about how our society works, have
          you  ever  asked yourself  questions like:
          What should be "left to the market" rather
          than  handled  by  the  government? Should
          government  be able to take money from one
          person  and give it to another? Do we have
          "rights"  to services, like health care or
          educations, which the public is obliged to
          provide?    Can    there    be   justified
          government-imposed  limits  to  privacy or
          freedom   of   speech?   When  should  the
          government  be able to tell us what to do,
          and  when should we be able to do whatever
          we  want? Why should we obey the law? When
          judges decide cases, are they just playing
          politics?  Cable  news  channels,  network
          talk  shows, op-ed pages,  and other media
          outlest  are full of opinions from pundits
          and    politicians.   Too   often,   their
          assertions are either blatant responses to
          political  clout  or  gut  reactions  that
          public  policies  are  "just  unfair." Our
          purpose  is  to  go  beyond  politics  and
          self-interest,  to  apply  principles from
          economics  and moral  philosophy on policy
          questions.  Our  goal  is  not  to provide
          answers,  but to understand what facts and
          values  go  into  forming  our  judgements
          about "what should government do." Most of
          our    time   will   be   spent   reading,
          discussing,  evaluating and  writing about
          how  these perspectives  provide sometimes
          compatible,      sometimes     conflicting
          perspectives. Students will be expected to
          think  critically  about  what  government
          does  and does not do,  and to share their
          insights with the class.
[2971] 0101 MW.........3:30pm- 4:45pm (PHYS201)       BRENNAN, T


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