Biology discussion | Psychology homework help

Week 1: Introduction to the Science of Biology

Imagine you are beginning your daily late afternoon jog on a wooded path near your home. As you begin your long strides, you breathe in the crisp air, feeling your leg muscles stretch and your heart pound. You look around and notice that leaves on the trees are beginning to change color. A squirrel scampers through the grass to your right. A startled deer on the left raises its head, staring briefly at you before turning to run with its white tail bobbing behind. This may be a daily routine, but it is an exhilarating experience. It feels great to be alive and experience nature.

You may not take much time to think about the life in your body or the life around you, but it is there, and it is amazingly complex. Biology is the science that studies life, and it would have a lot to say about the scene described above. This week, you begin to explore biology and the process of science. You learn what the scientific method is and how scientists use it to learn more about the nature of life. You also begin to learn about the building blocks of life.

Note that this course contains three different graded assessment items in addition to Discussions and Assignments. Each week, you complete a 10-question Self-Assessment Quiz and a 20-question Weekly Exam. In Week 6, you complete a 60-question Final Exam that covers content for the entire course.

The following schedule outlines your assignments and due dates for Week 1.

Due ByAssignmentDay 2Post your Discussion Spark response.Day 3Complete the Cell Structure and Function Virtual Lab.Day 3Begin Part 1 of the Osmosis Lab.Day 4Post your Discussion Assignment.Day 5Complete Part 1 of the Osmosis Lab and begin Part 2.Day 5Complete the Self-Assessment Quiz.Day 7Post responses to at least two of your colleagues’ Discussion posts.Day 7Complete the Weekly Exam.Day 7Complete Part 2 of the Osmosis Lab. Then, complete the Osmosis Lab Report and submit it as the Assignment.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Apply the scientific method to solve a problem or answer a question
  • Distinguish science from non-science
  • Explain the role of biochemistry in cell biology
  • Demonstrate mastery of concepts related to the scientific method, cell types, structures, and functions

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Belk, C., & Maier, V. B. (2019). Biology: Science for life (6th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc
Chapter 1: “Can Science Cure the Common Cold?”
This chapter explains the process of science and includes information regarding the scientific method, hypothesis testing, and the evaluation of scientific information.

Chapter 2: “Science Fiction, Bad Science, and Pseudoscience”
This chapter identifies the basic requirements of living organisms. The chapter also explains the structure and function of macromolecules and the structure and function of cells.

Chapter 3: “Is It Possible to Supplement Your Way to Better Performance and Health” Section 3.3 Transport across Membranes
This section of Chapter 3 explains how molecules pass in and out of the cell.

Rutherford, F. J., & Ahlgren, A. (1990). Chapter 1: The nature of science.Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/sfaa/online/chap1.htm?txtRef=&txtURIOld=%2Ftools%2Fsfaaol%2Fchap1.htm

This chapter provides a basic description of scientific inquiry and identifies influences on this process, such as societal values and public opinion. The author emphasizes that science is a systematic process for gaining knowledge about patterns in all of nature and that science is not a process applied to gain knowledge in all areas, such as philosophy or the supernatural. (Science is technically an offshoot of philosophy, originally called Natural philosophy.)

Indiana University Evolution and the Nature of Sciences Institute. (n.d.). How can we tell science from non-science? Retrieved December 1, 2011, from http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/lessons/conptt.html

This resource defines six criteria to use to distinguish science from non-science: consistency, observability, natural, predictability, testability, and tentativeness. Readers are challenged to distinguish between scientific and non-scientific statements.

Document: Osmosis Lab Instructions (Word document)

This document contains instructions for the Osmosis Lab you complete for your Assignment this week. Note: The Cell Structure and Function Virtual Lab may assist you in understanding the Osmosis Lab. You must also start this Osmosis (at-home) Lab by Day 3.

Document: Osmosis Lab Report (Word document)

You complete and submit this document for your Assignment this week. Note: Be sure to save this document to your computer, as you will be completing and submitting an electronic version of this document.

Lab Materials: You must obtain or purchase a few inexpensive items for the Osmosis Lab this week. Also, Part 1 of the lab takes 48 hours to complete, so start the lab no later than Day 3.

Osmosis Lab: Obtain the following materials before starting the lab. Note: This list is included in the Osmosis Lab Instructions document.
3 eggs
Vinegar
Corn syrup
Salt or sugar
Water
Piece of string (for measuring)
Marker
Metric ruler
Pen or pencil
3 clear jars or glasses (large enough to contain 1 cup of water and an egg)
Aluminum foil (or other covering for glasses/jars)

Required Media
Cell Structure and Function Virtual Lab

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Cell structure and function. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note:  The approximate length of this media piece is 20 minutes.

You complete this lab as part of your Assignment for this week. Note: You must complete this virtual lab by Day 3 of this week. This lab includes interactive activities that focus on cell structure and function and a knowledge check on this topic.

(Note: A brief knowledge check within the lab helps you to review the lab’s content and prepares you for the weekly exam. Do not confuse the questions within the lab with the Self- Assessment Quiz you must complete by Day 5.)

This virtual lab also contains the Osmosis Lab Instructions document that you will need to complete your at-home lab, which is also part of the Assignment for this week. You must start the Osmosis Lab by Day 3 of this week.

Document: Transcript (PDF)

Discussion: The Scientific Approach

Why is the sky blue? Why do bees sting? Why is the ocean salty? These are questions a young child may ask about the world based on his or her observations and experiences. As children grow older, their inquisitive nature may begin to fade. Anyone involved in the scientific process, however, must continually make observations and ask questions about his or her observations. In addition, scientists suggest possible answers to their questions and then test their ideas to determine if they are correct. This process is known as the scientific method.

The scientific method, however, does not answer every question about the universe. For example, it cannot answer questions such as “Is there a god?” or “What is the true meaning of life?” As you begin your exploration of biology this week, you consider the nature of science and how the scientific approach to the world differs from others, such as philosophical or spiritual approaches. Then, you apply this understanding by identifying a situation in which you can apply the scientific method and a situation in which you cannot.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Consider the question posed by the Chapter 1 title of Biology: Science for Life: “Can Science Cure the Common Cold?” Think of a few additional questions science could answer. How do you think science might find answers to these questions?
  • Review Chapter 1, “Can Science Cure the Common Cold?” in Biology: Science for Life, and consider how the scientific method tests ideas and attempts to find answers to questions. For example,
    • What is a hypothesis?
    • How does an experiment test a hypothesis?
    • Why is the experimental process essential to science?
  • Review the articles in this week’s Required Resources.
    • In the article “The Nature of Science,” note the characteristics of scientific inquiry—that is, how scientists study phenomena to arrive at evidence-based conclusions.
    • Pay special attention to the Reality Check activity in the article “How Can We Tell Science from Non-Science?” Consider what distinguishes the scientific statements from the non-scientific ones.
  • Read the Discussion Spark topic/question or comment posted by your Instructor in the Discussion Thread on Day 1.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 2

Post a 1- to 2-paragraph response to the Discussion Spark

Important Note: The Discussion Spark and the weekly Discussion topic below will be graded together. You will see one score in your My Grades area.

By Day 4

Post two or more paragraphs that distinguish the nature of science from non-science and that explain how the scientific method can be used to answer a question or solve a problem.

Your post should include the following:

  • Three characteristics of a scientific approach to the world
  • A real-life example of how the scientific method was or could be applied to solve a problem or answer a question
  • A real-life scenario that cannot be tested scientifically
  • References to at least two sources outside the Required Resources
  • All references cited in APA format

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 7

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ postings. Write 1- to 2-paragraph responses in which you complete one of the following:

  • Provide feedback on one of the important science characteristics your colleague included in his or her post, stating whether you agree that it is important, and why
  • Expand upon your colleague’s explanation regarding how he or she used the scientific method to solve a problem or answer a question
  • State whether you agree that the scenario the colleague described cannot be tested scientifically, including reasons for your response

Refer to the Week 1 Discussion Rubric for grading details.

Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 1 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 2 and Day 4 and Respond by Day 7

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 1 Discussion

Below is the Discussion sparks 

Week 1 Discussion – What is Science?COLLAPSE

The Scientific Approach: How does it differ from other approaches to understanding our world?

Why is the sky blue? Why do bees sting? Why is the ocean salty? Why do your siblings look so similar or so different? These are questions a young child may ask about the world based on his or her observations and experiences. As children grow older, their inquisitive nature may begin to fade. Anyone involved in the scientific process, however, must continually make observations and ask questions about his or her observations. In addition, scientists suggest possible answers to their questions and then test their ideas to determine if they are correct. This process is known as the scientific method.

The scientific method, however, does not answer every question about the universe. For example, it cannot answer questions such as “Is there a god or gods?” or “What is the true meaning of life?” Why can’t some ideas compete in the arena of science? As you begin your exploration of biology this week, you consider the nature of science and how the scientific approach to the world differs from others, such as philosophical or religious approaches. Then, you apply this understanding by identifying a situation in which you can apply the scientific method and a situation in which you cannot.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Make certain that you understand how to avoid plagiary. In a science course you will be writing about concepts and facts that you may not be intimately familiar with so there will be a temptation to rely on the phrases and sentences used by more authoritative authors. You can use the facts of other authors by citing them but you cannot use exact phrases and sentences without enclosing the quotation within quotation marks to indicate that you did not write that phrase.  Use the SafeAssign or Turnitin draft options in our course to check your posts for plagiary. Learn more about how to write well, avoid plagiary, use SafeAssign/Turnitin, and APA formatting at the online writing center: http://writingcenter.waldenu.edu/
  • Consider the question posed by the Chapter 1 title of Biology: Science for Life: “Can Science Cure the Common Cold?” Think of a few additional questions science could answer. How do you think science might find answers to these questions?
  • Review Chapter 1, “Can Science Cure the Common Cold?” in Biology: Science for Life, and consider how the scientific method tests ideas and attempts to find answers to questions. For example,Review the articles in this week’s Required Resources.
    • What is a hypothesis? What is the purpose of hypothesis?
    • How does an experiment test a hypothesis? How is a hypothesis different from a Theory?
    • Why is the experimental process essential to science?
    • In the article “The Nature of Science,” note the characteristics of scientific inquiry—that is, how scientists study phenomena to arrive at evidence-based conclusions.
    • Pay special attention to the Reality Check activity in the article “How Can We Tell Science from Non-Science?” Consider what distinguishes the scientific statements from the non-scientific ones.
  • Read the Discussion Spark topic/question or comment posted by your Instructor in the Discussion Thread on Day 1.
  • Please do not post in the forum until the week has begun on Monday.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post By Day 2 (10 points)

Post A 2+ paragraph spark response post in which you address one of the prompts in the Discussion Spark (which will be posted by your professor in this forum on Day 1).

Important Note: The Discussion Spark and the weekly Discussion topic below will be graded together. You will see one score in your My Grades area.

Post By Day 4 (25 points)

In your primary research based post present a 350+ word research based essay, in which you compare and contrast the scientific, philosophical and religious approaches to understanding the world. What kinds of questions do these approaches ask and what kinds of methods do they use to address their questions? Explain how the scientific method can be used to answer a question or solve a problem. Cite the independent research sources that you use (i.e. beyond the course text).

Your post should include the following:

  • Three characteristics of a scientific approach to the world
  • Distinguish the scientific approach to understanding the world from that of religion or philosophy.
  • A real-life scenario that cannot be tested scientifically or a real-life example where you used science.
  • References (in APA format) to at least two authoritative sources of scientific information outside the Required Resources. Avoid about.com, ask.com, buzzle.com, slideshare.com, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commercially or religiously inspired websites when referencing scientific information.
  • All references cited in APA format

Read a selection of your colleagues’ and professor’s postings.

Post by Day 5 & 7 (8 and 7 points)

Respond to at least two of your professor’s or colleague’s postings. Write 1- to 2-paragraph responses in which you complete one of the following:

  • Provide feedback on one of the important science characteristics stated in the post, and perhaps include whether you agree that it is important, and why
  • Expand upon an explanation, an analysis, or the information provided in a post. 
  • State whether you agree that the scenario the colleague described cannot be tested scientifically, including reasons for your response

In addition, be sure you cite outside reference sources when possible.

Click on the Reply button below to reveal the forum comment text box for entering your message. In the header of the comment box are a variety of options for personalizing the appearance of your post. Pleas be sure to use the subject line of your post to title your presentation. Double check your post for clarity and spelling before submitting. Then click on the Submit button to post your message.

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