BIOL 1107
Principles of Biology
Spring 2008

BIOL 1107 Description & Objectives

Textbook: Biology, 9th Edition (Required)
Author: Sylvia S. Mader
Publisher: McGraw-Hill, 2007

Course Description:

BIOL 1107 is designed for students who have had a range of science courses at the secondary level (no matter how long ago) and for those for whom biology is a new subject. It is a course for both majors and nonmajors in biology. General biological principles will be related to cellular structure and function at both the macro and micro level.

Structural and physiological processes, from the ecosystem to the organismic level, will be analyzed and correlated with the simpler manifestations at the cellular level. Topics to be discussed will include biochemistry, energetics, the molecular basis of cell metabolism, cell division, and the homeostatic regulation of the cell environment. The nature and philosophy of science, and the art of modern experimental research will be emphasized.

This course is organized around a unifying theme which regards the possession of an intrinsic program as the central property of organisms. This program, lodged in the DNA sequence of chromosomes, is a set of instructions that directs the building of form, regulates function, and produces evolution through its historical change. Thus, we may trace a thread of unity through all the diverse subjects of biology, from molecule to ecosystem, by concentrating on the unique feature that separates life from non-living matter - the possession of an internal program.

Course Objectives:

The 1992 Public Health Service Report entitled Prologue to Action: Life Science Education and Science Literacy summarizes the major conceptual ideas that we believe apply to those who declare as science majors as well as those who take science for other reasons.

"...Scientifically literate people should be able to participate in discussions of contemporary scientific issues, apply scientific information in personal decision making, and locate valid scientific information when they need it. These components of scientific literacy in turn require that people be able to understand and evaluate publically disseminated information in science and technology, distinguish science from pseudoscience, and interpret graphic displays of scientific information.

Because the rapid pace and complex nature of advances in the... sciences raise difficult issues of ethics and public policy for the Nation, the publicís ability to understand science and technology is critical to the Nationí s future."

We also strive to:

1) provide students with a broad-based general knowledge and familiarize them with the language of science;

2) provide students with some basic laboratory skills and training in the proper use of standard instrumentation;

3) increase student awareness of current issues in science, especially the relationships of science to society and the ethical questions inherent in the use of technology."

(Comprehensive Assessment in Academic Disciplines, FIPSE Project Grant No. 116BH70686)

Intellectual performance can be of many different types. One or more of these types may be called for dependent on the given topic and your level of preparedness. Thus, as learners we must be able to:

a. RECALL information

b. APPLY principles or rules to new materials or situations

c. ANALYZE a complex array or occurrence and identify specific entities or patterns

d. INTERPRET or SUMMARIZE a body of evidence in order to formulate generalizations that adequately represent available data.

e. DRAW NEW IMPLICATIONS, to extrapolate beyond what is known, to create new intellectual products

The rapid exponential growth of scientific and technical knowledge has forced us to shift attention from information content to information selection. Therefore, throughout this course, we will emphasize PATTERNS and RELATIONSHIPS rather than specific facts. Facts will not be ignored but used as instruments for the achievement of intellectual growth.