Introduction to Life Sciences
Fall, 2019: September 14 – December 16
Available Times (EST):
This course will be an introduction to biology and related life sciences for students with little or no background. There will be an emphasis on natural history. The goal of this course is to impart to the student an appreciation of life, the incomprehensibility of all living things, and the wonder of God’s creation. Understanding these things should empower students to resist indoctrination, especially with the pervasiveness of Darwinism and materialism. We are all exposed to scientific information. It is necessary to make use of such information for apologetics, to understand claims, and to understand new technologies, etc. Latin and Greek roots of scientific words will be emphasized throughout the course.
Scientific Models and Methods
• Students will learn the importance of scientific models to the scientific method.
Chemistry for Biology Students
• Insofar as everything is made of chemicals, students will acquire a basic understanding of chemistry required for biology. The explosion of knowledge of biochemistry in the last several decades means that there is a need to understand basic chemistry.
• Students will become familiar and acquainted with the building blocks of life in all organisms and their organization.
Structure of the Cell
• Students will become familiar with the structure of the cell.
• Students will learn that the cell is the building block of all living things.
• Students will learn what a cell is, how it’s made, and what makes it a cell.
• Students will learn about the two kinds of cell: prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
• Students will learn the genetic coding for specific amino acids.• Students will learn the roles of DNA, RNA, and enzymes to produce polypeptides in the cell.
• Students will learn that cellular respiration is the most profound topic in all biology.
• Students will learn how we breakdown food to make energy to accomplish all the work in the cell.
• Students will learn that this is a three-step process. [The groundwork for ID]
• Students will learn the importance of Electron Transport Chain.
• Students will learn how different organisms acquire and access energy.
Mitosis and Meiosis
• Students will learn how cells replicate and how organisms reproduce.
• Students will learn mitosis and meiosis by comparison.
• Students will learn that the goal of mitosis is to produce identical daughter cells and that the goal of meiosis is to produce unique cells from two parents.
• Students will learn how cell differentiation describes how the genetic information identical information in all cells is selectively activated or deactivated to have different sorts of cells.
• This will connect with our discussion of fetal development and stem cells.
Domains of Life and Biosphere
• Students will identify the immense variety of lifeforms and their habitats.
• Students will focus on taxonomy and classification.
• There will be an introduction to animalia, plantae, fungi, and Protista.
• Ecosystems and microbiomes will also be discussed.
• There will also be a discussion of the importance of symbiosis.
Inheritance of Traits
• Students will learn the importance of alleles.
• Students will come to know “Who was Gregor Mendel and what did he do”?
• Students will study Mendelian and Non-Mendelian genetics as well as Population Genetics.
• Students will learn how to set up a Punnett square.
• Students will understand the meaning of adaptation to environments.
Evolution and Intelligent Design
• We will critically examine the prevalent model of Darwinian evolution by natural selection.
• We will examine as it operates with bacteria.
• We will confront the problem of irreducible complexity in all living cells.
• We will discuss the model of ID as an alternative materialism.
We will use the Guest Hollow curriculum and textbook available for free
and found at guesthollow.com/biology
Instructional Format: A class will be held each week in real-time, using the Zoom web conferencing system. In addition, video lessons will be sent out throughout the week. Students will be expected to watch these lessons each week, completing any activities sent out with the video. At the beginning of each week, two video lessons will be sent out with assigned reading. A weekly live class will be held either Wednesday or Thursday of each week (We will determine the exact day depending on the instructor’s and students’ schedules.) After our weekly live class, a review video or videos will be distributed along other assignments.
The number and frequency of quizzes and tests may be adjusted
at the instructor’s discretion to accommodate variations in student progress. Students should expect lab assignments, weekly quizzes, a midterm, and a final. A week will be provided for review before the
midterm and the final.