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Anacortes Senior College

The Evolution of Life

with Barrie Hughlock, Ph.D.


This is the third course of a four course science series entitled “The Evolution of Existence” It is intended to provide an appreciation for the accomplishments of science and its never-ending quest to solve the mysteries of existence. No prior science or math background is assumed. The only prerequisite is an open mind. Each course is stand-alone and can be taken out of sequence. “The Evolution of Life” will cover both the origins of life on Earth and its subsequent evolution. The six lectures include: (1) The origin of life from inanimate substances; (2) Genetics and the evolution of cellular life; (3) The eukaryotic cell, the cell type of all organisms that we can actually see; (4) The past 542 million years of multicellular evolution, punctuated by mass extinctions and including amphibians, reptiles, dinosaurs, and mammals; (5) Human evolution, starting from the "The Golden Age of the Apes", and including the numerous species that evolved over the course of human evolution, and ending with the revolutionary consequences of civilization; (6) A speculative lecture on future purposeful evolution, which covers our global threats, creating a need for genetic engineering of plants and animals, and concluding with a controversial discussion of future human genetic engineering.

Instructor: Barrie Hughlock

I received a BA in physics at UC Berkeley and a PhD in physics at Brown University, with a thesis on neutrino-electron physics. I spent my career in aerospace. First, at Grumman, in the Nuclear Physics Group, where I collaborated with NASA on the calibration of the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope, one of the four instruments contained in the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. Finally, at Boeing as an Associate Technical Fellow specializing in space and atmospheric radiation effects on satellite and airplane systems. I have taught physics courses at North Seattle Community College, at Bellevue College’s continuing education department and at the Anacortes Senior College in which courses are designed for the interests of retirees. I take great pleasure in teaching about the wonders and power of science and technology and advocating for science research to address the global needs of society.

  • Oct 11 - Nov 15th, 2022
    Tue for 6 weeks from 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Anacortes Middle School

2202 M Ave.
Anacortes, WA 98221 Get directions

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