Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences - Unit 3: How Does It All End?

About this course: Throughout history, the vast majority of people around the globe have believed they have, however defined, a “soul.” While the question of whether the soul exists cannot be answered by science, what we can study are the causes and consequences of various beliefs about the soul and its prospects of surviving the death of the body. Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history? Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist? Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions? How do these beliefs shape the worldviews of different cultures and our collective lives? What is the role of competing afterlife beliefs in religion, science, politics, and war? This course explores several facets of this relatively unexplored but profoundly important aspect of human thought and behavior. The course consists mainly of 70 to 80 minute lectures, typically broken up into 3 segments, recorded from a course offered by Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences. These videos include slides and some embedded video clips. Most lectures are accompanied by slides used during the lecture, also including recommended reading assignment which may provide additional opportunities to reflect on your studies. Due to the lengthiness of this class and natural progression, the online course has been separated into 3 units, this is Unit 3.

Created by:   Rutgers the State University of New Jersey
Commitment3-5 hours/week
EnglishSubtitles: Romanian
How To PassPass all graded assignments to complete the course.
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Average User Rating 4.4See what learners said
Introduction to Unit 3

1 video2 readings
  1. Reading: Welcome to the Course
  2. Video: Introduction
  3. Reading: Learner Support
Evolutionary Psychology

3 videos1 reading
  1. Video: Evolutionary Psychology Part A
  2. Video: Evolutionary Psychology Part B
  3. Video: Evolutionary Psychology Part C
  4. Reading: Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer
Graded: Quiz 1
The Evolution of the Human Brain

3 videos
  1. Video: The Evolution of the Human Brain Part A
  2. Video: The Evolution of the Human Brain Part B
  3. Video: The Evolution of the Human Brain Part C
The Human Spark

4 videos
  1. Video: The Human Spark Part A
  2. Video: The Human Spark Part B
  3. Video: The Human Spark Part C
  4. Video: NPR audio interview - Richard Leakey Reflects On Human Past And Future
Graded: Quiz 2
The Scopes Trial: Human Origins and the Public Classroom

3 videos1 reading
  1. Video: The Scopes Trial Part A
  2. Video: The Scopes Trial Part B
  3. Video: The Scopes Trial Part C
  4. Reading: State vs John Scopes ("The Monkey Trial")
The Dover Board of Education: Intelligent Design and the Public Classroom

1 video2 readings
  1. Video: Judgment Day Intelligent Design On Trial
  2. Reading: Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District: Teaching Intelligent Design in Public Schools
  3. Reading: Defeating Creationism in the Courtroom, But Not in the Classroom
Graded: Quiz 3
Graded: Soul Reversal
Where Do We Go From Here?

2 videos
  1. Video: Where Do We Go From Here Part A
  2. Video: Where Do We Go From Here Part B
Graded: Final Review
General Course Pages

2 readings
  1. Reading: Syllabus
  2. Reading: Grading and Logistics
How It Works
Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.
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