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Welcome

We often read about news in the media that has a biological basis. Unfortunately, it’s very common to not understand enough of this biological basis to form a critical opinion of what we are reading.

Words such as genetic determinism, cloning, genetic manipulation, the fight against death, eugenics, artificial selection, inheritance of intelligence, evolution of behaviour … all these are in our environment, but their interpretation requires some knowledge that we may not have.

This course intends to use a plain and focused language to help you understand biological processes, and also their social and ethical implications. We aim to provide the basis for a biological understanding of humans, to answer questions that come from outside biology and to which biology has an answer.

You may be interested in the course because many disciplines should take more account of the biological bases of humans, including economics, sociology, history (especially prehistory), human evolution, philosophy, linguistics … and many others.

If you come across any concepts in the course that you are not familiar with, you may want to refer to our end of course Glossary. The videos in the course also highlight specific comments and their definitions.

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You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

Tests: Ensure you’ve mastered the material with access to tests on the course.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

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This article is from the free online course:

Why Biology Matters: Basic Concepts

Pompeu Fabra University Barcelona