Science as a Way of Knowing: Interdisciplinary Biological Science
UH 290(1) Spring 2009 (3 cr) MWF 9:10-10:00 CUE 407
(Prerequisite: 100-level science course)
Instructor: Dr. Carol Anelli
Office Locations: FSHN Rm. 360 (located near Ferdinand’s); Honors Main Office
Phone: (509) 335-1432
Office hours: by appointment (contact me to arrange day & time)
Moore, John. 1993. Science as a Way of Knowing: The foundations of modern biology. Harvard
University Press, Cambridge MA
Gillen, Christopher M. 2007. Reading Primary Literature: A practical guide to evaluating
research activities in biology. Benjamin Cummings, San Franscisco, CA.
Required supplemental readings: available via UH 290 MyClass website
The biological sciences have flourished in the last 100 years, and further advances in
science and technology will continue to have profound impacts on society. Students require an
understanding of modern biology to become engaged, informed citizens.
Guiding Course Questions
What are the origins of biological science?
How do scientists construct new knowledge, and why should this matter to us?
How are evolutionary theory and genetics integrated and applied today?
Students majoring in the sciences will cultivate scientific habits of mind and make
connections between biology and their everyday lives. They will explore the foundations of
modern biological science and methodology, and comprehend that science produces and
requires empirical evidence. Students also will cultivate interdisciplinary knowledge,
integrating scientific course content across various disciplines (e.g., other sciences, music,
architecture, visual arts) and contexts (e.g., religious, ethical, political, legal).
• Unit I: Students study the emergence of the biological and medical sciences from their
ancient roots, learning how modern methodology evolved over time. Students gain
experience with methods and approaches commonly employed by today’s researchers in
the natural sciences. These “tools of the trade” include: scholarly literature search;
acquisition/evaluation of sources; observational/experimental design; null hypothesis
generation/testing; data representation and interpretation; research models; probabilistic
and statistical reasoning; correlation vs. causation; uncertainty and types of errors.
• Unit II: Students examine science as a process by studying the development,
advancement, and modern integration of two major biological disciplines: 1)
evolutionary biology and 2) genetics.
• Unit III: Students develop a multidisciplinary perspective of complex, biologically
relevant issues in society by collaborating on a culminating case study. Students work
in small groups to research the pertinent literature, discuss various aspects of the case,
and present their findings to the class.
Students should complete assigned readings before class, be prepared for discussions, and
complete all assignments. They should be self-motivated and respectful, and interested in
improving their critical thinking, communication, and cooperative learning skills.
Student Learning Outcomes
1. characterize science as a discipline and distinguish it from other ways of knowing.
2. define basic terms and concepts in scientific methodology and analysis.
3. locate, categorize, critique, and evaluate sources of scientific information.
4. contextualize, discuss, and compare key scientists, advances, and theories in the
5. integrate biological information across disciplines and apply it to topics of current
Course Learning Goals and WSU’s Six Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate1
Grading is a measure of student learning and depends on the student’s ability to:
• demonstrate information literacy (research the scholarly literature to access, evaluate,
and use information appropriately)
• employ quantitative and symbolic reasoning (examine sources for methodology, data,
statistical analyses, conclusions)
• utilize critical thinking skills (scrutinize sources for assumptions/biases, generate
questions/hypotheses, compile findings, draw valid inferences/conclusions)
• improve their communication skills (engage in class discussions, work with peers on
analysis and presentation of case studies)
• integrate discipline-based knowledge from the sciences across other disciplines (explore
historical and contemporary scientific ways of knowing, understand how scientific
knowledge is advanced and refined, connect science to other disciplines and contexts)
• cultivate a sense of self in society (explore how values and ethics shape perspectives and
judgments, particularly in the context of science & society)
Learning in UH 290 is student-centered. Lecturing is minimized to encourage and
allow for focused discussion. Course activities are designed to foster active and cooperative
learning, critical thinking, and demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge.
attendance (5%) & oral contributions in class (5%) 10%
homework assignments 14%
Exam #1 (individual, in-class) 13%
Exam #2 (group take-home) 17%
Exam #3 (individual, in-class) 13%
Case Study (groups give presentation) 18%
Final exam (cumulative) 15%
A .................... 93-100% C .................... 71-74
A-.................... 89-92 C- ................... 68-70
B+................... 85-88 D+................... 65-67
B .................. 81-84 D .................... 60-64
B- .................. 78-80 F .................... < 60
Dr. Anelli and WSU are intolerant of any form of academic dishonesty. For
information, see: http://www.conduct.wsu.edu/default.asp?PageID=343 also see:
MyClass: e-space for UH 290
MyClass is the e-learning space for UH 290 students only. It has announcements,
readings, homework assignments, case studies, take-home exams, links, PowerPoints, etc.
Bookmark the class site and SAVE the initial email with the link to the class space (for
access from any computer). Check MyClass website frequently!
Communicating with Dr. Anelli
If you have a question about assignments, exams, etc., please ask during/after class, or
post it in the designated spot in MyClass. Dr. Anelli will respond to questions in MyClass so
that others may benefit. For technical problems, use the appropriate link in MyClass.
Attendance, Participation, and Late Work Policy
Students are expected to attend all scheduled class times, as attendance and participation
contribute significantly to learning and grades (see Grade Breakdown). If you feel that you
must miss a class, you must notify Dr. Anelli before class and provide a reason for your
absence. If you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out from an informed student (not
from Dr. Anelli) what occurred in class, what assignments may have been given, etc.
Assignments and take-home exams are due at the beginning of class; late work, including
exams, is subject to grade reduction, depending upon the assignment.
WSU Disability Statement
Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability.
Please notify Dr. Anelli the first week of class of any accommodations need. Late notification
may cause requested accommodations to be unavailable. All accommodations must be
approved through Disability Resource Center (DRC), Administration Annex 205, 335-1566.
Please familiarize yourself with information regarding campus emergencies/school
closings by visiting this website: http://oem.wsu.edu/emergencies
The Course Outline (readings, deadlines, etc.) is on the following two pages.
Consult this frequently to ensure that you are keeping up with all assignments.
Welcome to the course!
I look forward to working and learning with you this semester.
Date Wk Topic Read BEFORE class HOMEWORK-- Complete this before our next class period:
(also: check MyClass for documents, announcements, updates)
12 Jan 1 Antecedents of scientific thought Course Syllabus Homework: Read Moore Ch. 1 & pp. 30-45 (take notes on these and
(online at MyClass) all readings); complete on-line pre-course survey
14 Jan Aristotle & Ancient Greek view Moore: pp. 30-45 Homework: Finish reading Moore Chapter 3 (pp. 45-58),
of the natural world (Chapter 2, in part) take notes for future use (make a habit of note-taking)
16 Jan Rational Greeks; Pliny; medicine Moore: pp. 45-58 Ch. 3 Homework: Aristotle, Pliny, Hippocrates, Galen
19 Jan 2 Holiday: Martin Luther King Day Homework: How did St. Augustine “know” nature? (see MyClass)’
Read Moore Ch. 4 (take notes on these and all readings)
21 Jan Judeo-Christian view, pre-1543 AD Moore: Ch. 4 Homework: Augustine; Middle Ages; Revival of Science; Ch.5
23 Jan Revival of science: Vesalius, Harvey, Moore: Ch. 5 Homework: Connect Bacon’s four “Idols” to modernity (MyClass);
Bacon, Leeuwenhoek, Hooke, Read Moore Ch. 6
26 Jan 3 Figur’d Stones, plastick virtue Moore: pp. 102-115 Ch. 6 Homework: Hooke, Cuvier (MyClass)
28 Jan Beginnings of modern geology; 1850 Moore: pp. 115-127 Ch. 6 Homework: Hutton, Smith, Lyell (MyClass); Read Moore Ch. 7
30 Jan Evolution/Natural Theology Moore: Chapter 7 (all) Study for Exam #1: review all homeworks, powerpoints, notes
2 Feb 4 EXAM #1 (individual, in-class) Listen to & take notes on “Evolution and Wonder:
Understanding Charles Darwin” (link at MyClass);
Listen to & take notes: “Transmutation Notebook B” Tree of Life,
pp. 45, 101-102; “Transmutation Notebook D” pp. 36-37,72,
134, 140; “Metaphysical Notebook N” p. 36 (link at MyClass)
4 Feb Darwin, Part 1 Evolution & Wonder, etc. View HHMI lecture, “Endless forms” (MyClass); take notes
6 Feb Darwin, Part 2 “Endless forms” & lecture PDF View HHMI lecture “Selection in Action” (MyClass); take notes
9 Feb 5 Testing Darwin’s hypotheses Moore: Ch. 8 Listen to: “Panel Discussion” from “Science and Faith”
(link at MyClass); take notes
11 Feb In the light of evolution Moore: Ch. 9 Read: “Latest face of creationism in the classroom” (MyClass);
take notes; Do “Opposition” Homework
13 Feb 19th C & 21 C: Opposition to evol. Branch & Scott article View HHMI lecture by Dr. Miller, “Intelligent Design” (MyClass)
16 Feb 6 Holiday: Presidents’ Day Read: “Taken to school: An interview with the Honorable Judge
John E. Jones, III” (MyClass link); take notes
Teaching Evolution: U.S. Courts U.S. legal history, RE: View Dr. Ken Miller on Cobert Report (YouTube link, MyClass).
ED HUMES TONIGHT, 7 pm, teaching evolution
CUB ballroom (signing @ 6 pm) in public school
20 Feb Discussion: Why evolution matters Dr. Miller’s lecture Homework: Read Gillen pp. 2-7, then “Rising Temperatures” case
study (MyClass). Answer Qs in case study and bring to class.
23 Feb 7 OWEN LIBRARY Rm 319D Gillen pp. 2-7; Finish (if needed) Corey’s/Betty’s Library Homework
Searches, Sources, Style “Rising Temperatures”
25 Feb OWEN LIBRARY Rm 319D Finish (if needed) Corey’s/Betty’s Library Homework
Searches, Sources, Style
27 Feb Anatomy of a Research Article Gillen pp. 7-14 Homework: WSU Libraries databases and Moran Abstract
2 Mar 8 Intro, Materials & Methods, Part 1 Gillen pp. 15-20 Homework: Moran Introduction, Materials & Methods, Part 1
4 Mar Materials & Methods, Part 2 Gillen pp. 21-29 (M&M) Answer questions for Moran Results (see posting at MyClass)
6 Mar Results, Part 1 Gillen pp. 29-34 (Results) Answers questions for Moran Results & Discussion (see MyClass)
9 Mar 9 Results, Part 2; Discussion Gillen pp. 34-42 (Results) Group take-home: EXAM #2 (posted at MyClass by afternoon)
11 Mar Anelli at conference; do exam #2
13 Mar Anelli at conference; do exam #2 EXAM #2: DUE Tues 17 March @9 am, must post to MyClass
16-20Mar SPRING BREAK
23 Mar 10 Discuss Exam #2 Read Moore: Ch. 12
25 Mar Cell Theory Moore: Ch. 12 Homework: Cell Theory; read Moore Ch. 13
27 Mar Chromosomal Continuity Moore: Ch. 13 Homework: Chromosomal Continuity; read Moore Ch. 14
30 Mar 11 Mendel: Modern genetics begins Moore: Ch. 14 Homework: Mendel; read Moore Ch. 15
1 Apr Genetics + Cytology: 1900-1910 Moore: Ch. 15 Homework: Genetics +Cytology, 1900-1910; read Moore Ch. 16
3 Apr Genetics of the fruit fly Moore: Ch. 16 Study for Exam #3
6 Apr 12 EXAM #3 (individual, in-class) View Evol 101 History of Life: Family Tree, Phylogenies (link at MyClass)
8 Apr Contemporary evolution 1 Evol 101: History of Life View HHMI lecture “From Butterflies to Humans”(link at MyClass)
10 Apr Contemporary evolution 2 Butterflies to Humans Read Shubin, “This Old Body,” and Mindell, “Evolution in the
Everyday World” (MyClass)
13 Apr 13 Contemporary evolution 3 Shubin; Mindell Check MyClass for additional information
15 Apr Dr. Mike Webster, Sexual Selection 1 Read Webster et al. (2007) (PDF and GIF at MyClass)
17 Apr Dr. Mike Webster, Sexual Selection 2 Webster et al. (2007) Check MyClass for possible information/update
20 Apr 14 OWEN LIBRARY Rm 319D Case Study (Groups): Information for Case Study at MyClass
22 Apr In-class case research: Rm 319D
24 Apr In-class case research: Rm 319D
27 Apr 15 In-class case research: Rm 319D
29 Apr Summary reports from Groups
1 May Course evaluations
Final Cumulative Final