Themes, Processes, Methods
This chapter introduces the study of biology. The word "biology" means the scientific study of life and living organisms. These topics will be the focus of the Animated Presentation in this chapter. We'll consider the many facets of biology, explore the methods biologists use to do their work, and discuss the connections between science, technology, and society.
This chapter introduces the three unifying elements used throughout the course: Themes, Processes, and Methods. These elements will help us understand the connections between many seemingly distinct topics in biology.
Themes are the broadest class of unifying element, and tie together facts, ideas, and concepts throughout the course. Their purpose is to unify content from many different subspecialties within biology.
Processes are more narrow than themes, and serve to unify sequential steps (as in a metabolic pathway) or related clusters of steps (such as the overlap between several metabolic pathways). Their purpose is to help you organize sets of facts into a coherent whole that illustrates the relationships between those sets of facts.
Methods are laboratory techniques you must understand and be able to apply in their original setting and in order to solve new, unfamiliar laboratory problems. Their purpose is to reinforce the idea that laboratory techniques have wide applications beyond the context in which they were first developed.