Paradigm Shifts in Scientific Theory

In recent history, modern science underwent radical transformation through the development of new theories that were not anticipated or predicted by the tenets of contemporary theories. As such, the advancement of human understanding in the sciences through radical new theories has been coined by Thomas Kuhn as a "paradigm shift.” Examples of such paradigm shifts include the theories of relativity and evolution.

Regardless of major, this focal study is designed to give those students with an introductory background in physics and biology a deeper understanding of some of the most exciting and revolutionary theories in these fields as a result of paradigm shifts. In addition to scientific content, this focal study will also give students an understanding of the historical and philosophical contexts involved in the development of paradigm shifts.

Instructions for Focal Study 37

Complete at least three courses and a minimum of 10 credits. No more than two of these courses may have the same disciplinary prefix.

Complete one course from each cluster.

First Cluster (complete 1 course)
PHY 311 Relativity I 2 credits
PHY 322 Modern Physics with Health Applications 4 credits
SCI 172 Introduction to Cosmology 2 credits
SCI 170 Introduction to Astronomy 4 credits
Second Cluster (complete 1 course)
BIOL 170 Human Genetics 4 credits
BIOL 330 Genetics 4 credits
BIOL 444 Evolution 4 credits
Third Cluster (complete 1 course)

ENV 121


ENV 200

Our Global Environment (for non-majors)


Introduction to Environmental Science (for majors)

4 credits
PHIL 310 Philosophy of Science 4 credits