Institute for the science of origins

an evolving science

From the expanding universe to the developing mind, from emerging life to advancing medicine, the Institute for the Science of Origins at Case Western Reserve University is the scientific source for everything evolutionary. seven sciences»

planetary eclipse


How do things begin? Once begun, what leads them to increasing levels of complexity or specialization? Do imprints of these origins remain and, if so, how do we read them? What do they teach us about the past, present and future?

The cosmologist studying the growth of galaxies in the early universe asks these questions, but so does the paleo-anthropologist studying the development of upright walking, as well as the cognitive scientist trying to understand how the modern mind emerged. Even as planetary scientists study the development of our solar system, and evolutionary biologists disentangle the evolution of all the diverse life on Earth, they join with astronomers to seek evidence of these processes elsewhere — be it on the moons of Saturn or in the oceans of an Earth-like planet around some far-off star.

The medical scientist may be seeking both a better understanding of disease and the practical benefit of improved treatment while, for the astrophysicist, the motivation is the pursuit of pure knowledge — to answer questions that have been with us since before science.

Yet fundamentally they are all still origins scientists. It is the role of the ISO to bring them together — to educate, to learn and ultimately to collaborate.

Charles Darwin

history of life»

Using a broad base of disciplines, evolutionary biology researches the history of life on earth and seeks to understand the causal processes of evolution.

»Check out the Evolutionary Biology program