Biology 104

BIOL 104
Human Biology

1. Catalog Entry

BIOL 104
Human Biology

Credit hours (4) Three hours lecture; two hours laboratory
For students who are not Biology majors. An introduction to the basic principles of biology, with emphasis on human beings as biological organisms. Humans may be considered as products of evolution, as physiological systems, as reproducing entities, as members of their ecosystem, and as biological engineers able to change other organisms. The nature of scientific investigation will be stressed. BIOL 104 is not a prerequisite for upper level study in Biology. Biology majors should take BIOL 131. Students who are not Biology majors but need to take upper level Biology courses should take BIOL 105. This course has been approved for credit in the Natural Sciences Area of the Core Curriculum.

2. Detailed Description of Course

The course will focus on the question of what Biology can tell us about what it means to be human.  Depending on the interests and expertise of the instructor topics covered may include but are not limited to:
    1) Primatology
    2) Evolution of Humans
    3) Human pathogens and parasites
    4) Human Physiology  
    5) Nutrition
    6) The immune system
    7) The human brain and the nervous system
    8) Humans Reproduction
    9) Human Genetics and genetic diseases
    10)Humans as Members of Biological Communities and Ecosystems
    11)Humans as Biological Engineers

Laboratory exercises

The laboratory portion of the course will emphasize development of skills, possibly including but not limited to measuring, analysis, graphing, designing experiments and writing about science.

Possible topics that could be used to introduce these methods and skills, and to demonstrate course content include, but are not restricted to:
    1) Phylogeny of disease strains
    2) Phylogeny of primate taxa
    3) Exercise physiology
    4) Sensory physiology
    5) Circadian rhythms
    6) Genetics
    7) Comparative anatomy
    8) Enzymes
    9) Blood typing
    10)Diet and nutrition

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will be taught in the class/laboratory format, where “class” may include any combination of lecture, discussion, group work, or online classwork, as determined by the instructor.

Readings may include textbooks and other sources.

Whenever possible, students will practice using basic mathematics and statistics.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

Students will understand the methodologies of scientific inquiry, think critically about scientific problems, and apply principles of a scientific discipline to solve problems in the natural/physical world.

Students will be able to:
    1) Distinguish between findings that are based upon empirical data and those that are not.
    2) Apply scientific principles within the context of a specific scientific discipline to solve real world problems.

5. Assessment Measures

Assessment measures will vary with the instructor, but will generally include lecture and laboratory exams and a final exam. Continuing assessment may involve quizzes, class projects, laboratory reports and take-home exams. Students may be asked to do outside research and prepare written or oral presentations applying what they have learned. Students may be asked to argue, orally or in writing, for a particular position in areas where there is disagreement. Students may be asked to develop laboratory projects and may present the projects and results in poster or oral presentations.
    1) Student understanding of the empirical nature of science will be assessed through targeted exam questions.
        Their understanding may also be assessed through the quality of their lab reports and lab project
    2) Student ability to apply scientific methods and to use scientific problem-solving may be assessed by observing
        the development of their laboratory projects, assessing their project presentations, and assessing their
        arguments in presenting scientific disagreements.

6. Other Course Information

As a considerable number of sections are anticipated, multiple instructors will likely teach the course in a given semester. They will coordinate laboratory exercises to reduce demands on support services.

Review and Approval

March 2009

June 20, 2015