Biology 0200 - A Description
Bio 200 is a course for concentrators and non-concentrators in biology. It is based on the assumption that science is an important part of human culture, and that cultural literacy includes a broad knowledge of human thought and analysis, including the natural sciences. Bio 200 is intended to introduce students to some of the most important aspects of current biological theory, methodology, and research.
The end of the 20th century found scientific work in the life sciences moving forward at an unprecedented rate, and it is clear that continuing advances in the biological sciences will affect every aspect of society in the years ahead. Therefore, in the same way that students of the sciences could not consider themselves fully educated without a knowledge of art, social theory, and literature, students in the humanities and social sciences should approach courses in the sciences as part of their overall educational experience. The intention of this course is to establish links between biology and other disciplines, and to briefly explore some of the ways in which science is related to popular culture.
Biology 200 is also intended to provide students continuing in the study of biology with a basic background in several important aspects of modern biology. Therefore, students should expect to be challenged by the material and to keep pace with a demanding schedule of lectures and reading assignments. We will not assume extensive background preparation in the sciences, although we will assume that students have taken basic high school courses in chemistry and biology.
Biology 200 will focus on a logical continuum running from the large to the small. We will first examine the community of living things on this planet, trying to establish a sense of the diversity and interdependence of life. From this starting point, the course will consider evolution and its implications for biology and social theory. Understanding the details of evolution requires a knowledge of genetics, and this will be our next topic, followed by some basic biochemistry and molecular biology. The course will conclude with a number of integrating topics, including AIDS and cancer, that will attempt to tie together material from genetics, molecular biology, and evolution.
Prof. Ken Miller
Prof. John Stein