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|Description - |
|An introduction to biology using human beings as the exemplary organism. The evolution and biological unity of the human species and of all life forms; American and global patterns of human biological diversity; reproduction and heredity; how human organ systems function; humans and their environment; the uses and misuses of the scientific method; the scientific and biological bases for human equality.|
|Course Objectives - |
|The student will be able to: |
- describe the scientific method and use it to answer simple questions about the natural world
- explain how biologist classify living things; define a species.
- explain the theory of evolution by means of natural selection;
- explain the African origin of the human family, genus and species;
- solve simple problems in human genetics
- describe how human genetic diversity is patterned and explain how these patterns undermine the notion of biological "races" within the human species;
- describe global and American patterns of human diversity and relate these patterns to genetic and cultural inheritance
- describe the functions of the digestive and excretory systems.
- describe the functions of the circulatory and respiratory systems.
- describe the functions of the reproductive system
- identify the cells involved in the immune response and describe the function of the immune system.
- describe the organization of the nervous system and explain the fundamentals of how the nervous system functions.
- describe how organisms interact with their environments and explain the unique relationship and responsibility which humans bear towards their environment.
- assess the biological diversity of humans and the scientific evidence supporting human unity and equality.
|Special Facilities and/or Equipment - |
|Fully equipped biology laboratory, lecture room, computer facilities, and safety glasses. |
|Course Content (Body of knowledge) - |
- Describe the scientific method
- The scientific method: science and pseudo-science
- Hypothesis formation
- The design of experiments: good experiments and bad experiments
- Analyzing and evaluating data -- how not to "jump to conclusions"
- criticize intelligently the design of experiments and how the data from those experiments are evaluated and analyzed
- experiments and data dealing with alleged differences between human groups
- with the impact of humans on their environment.
- Characteristics and diversity of living things
- What it means to be alive
- How biologists classify living things
- Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection
- The traditional view of biological diversity
- Darwin's new view of biological diversity
- The importance of Darwin's view
- The origin of species
- What is a species
- explain how populations evolve and how new species from time to time arise
- Human evolution
- The biological unity of the human species
- The single, African origin of the human family, genus and species
- How humans spread to other parts of the world
- How adaptation to local environments produced variation in external traits such as limb length, hair texture and skin color
- How adaptation to local environments influenced cultural practices
- Human Genetics: Reproduction and heredity
- Mitosis - production of cells for development and growth
- Meiosis -- the cellular basis of heredity
- Mendel's experiments and principles of inheritance
- The Principle of Segregation
- The Principle of Independent Assortment
- Sex-linked traits and multiple alleles
- What exactly is a gene (the chemical nature of DNA)
- Watson and Crick and the "double helix"
- How genes specify proteins -- translation and the "genetic code"
- Why genes don't usually specify phenotypes
- The influence of the environment
- The influence of culture
- The influence of "developmental noise"
- Patterns of human diversity
- Basic population genetics
- The Hardy-Weinberg Equation
- What causes allele frequencies in population to change
- How is human diversity patterned
- Most human variation is within populations, not between populations
- Variation between populations is clinal (gradual), not clumped
- Human "racial" differences are recent, not ancient
- The human species is genetically well mixed
- Global and American patterns of genetic diversity
- How infectious disease patterns and other environmental factors have influenced these patterns of genetic diversity
- How cultural inheritance has influenced these patterns of genetic diversity
- Form and function of the human body - digestive and excretory systems
- Intake and outgo
- Nutritional needs of human beings
- How the digestive tract and the kidneys work
- How a balance is maintained between what comes in and what goes out
- Form and function of the human body -Interaction of the respiratory and circulatory systems
- Energy transformation in cells
- Role of oxygen in metabolism
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Form and function of the reproductive system
- anatomy and physiology of human males and females
- relationship between meiosis and spermatogenesis and oogenesis
- major hormones involved in regulation of reproduction and the ovarian and uterine cycles in females
- major hormones involved in the production of sperm in males
- How does fertilization and pregnancy occur.
- Preventing pregnancy
- Form and Function of the immune system
- Cells involved in the immune system
- Organs of the lymphatic system
- Antibody response
- Allergy and autoimmunity -- the down side of the immune system
- Being aware
- Cancer- causes and treatments
- How the human nervous system is organized
- How nerve cells work
- The complexity of the human nervous system
- The human role in nature
- Basic ecology
- Human population growth
- cultural differences
- implications for the future
- The unique relation of humans to their environment -- what is the single "ecological niche" of Homo sapiens
|Methods of Evaluation - |
- Oral and/or written laboratory reports.
- Demonstration of mastery of lecture material by written quizzes, midterm exams and/or a comprehensive final.
- Oral presentations, written reports and/or participation in discussions based on assigned readings from books and journals.
|Representative Text(s) - |
|Mader, Sylvia, Human Biology, McGraw Hill, 2009. |
Schultz, Gillian, Laboratory Manual for Biology 14, Foothill College, 2010
|Disciplines - |
|Biology or related fields |
|Method of Instruction - |
|Lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Laboratory, cooperative learning exercises |
|Lab Content - |
|Labs to include collaborative exercises that will help students in the: |
- Understanding of scientific process and experimental design.
- Understanding of cell structure and basic cell functions such as fluid balance and cell division.
- Explorations of human anatomy and physiology including tissues, organs and organ systems - digestive system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic system.
- Investigate the evidence for evolution.
- Explore genetics and practice genetic problems
|Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments - |
- Reading assignments will include:
- Textbook chapters
- Popular press articles related to class topics including cancer and human evolution.
- Writing assignments include:
- write ups of laboratory experiments and activities
- evaluations and expository writing on assigned readings.