Lecture 1 Slides - Let's Talk About Me Randy Wayne scientist teacher and natural philosopher [email protected] Office Hours MW 10:1011:15 116

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Unformatted text preview: Let's Talk About Me Randy Wayne: scientist, teacher and natural philosopher [email protected] Office Hours: MW 10:1011:15 116 Stimson By Appt. I want you to learn: How your body works and the biological basis for individuality. The relationship between biology and society so you can make wise and informed decisions about biological issues. The creative process of discovery and how we know what we know. The Historical Approach The historical approach allows you to see, in the words of George Palade (1963), "that recent findings and present concepts are only the last approximation in a long series of similar attempts which, of course, is not ended." Read the works of the masters in their own words Physiology or Medicine http:/nobelprize.org/medicine/laureates/index.html Chemistry http:/nobelprize.org/chemistry/laureates/index.html Physics http:/nobelprize.org/physics/laureates/index.html Facts vs. Processes? By learning the process of biology, you will learn how to think critically about the biological (e. g. reproductive, medical) issues that you will face in life. In math, you memorize some useful sums, like 1 + 1 = 2 or 2 + 2 = 4. You don't memorize the sum of 732 + 989, but you learn the process of how to obtain it yourself. I want to teach you facts that will be immediately useful to you and the biological process of obtaining data to critically think about facts that you have not memorized. The Role of Science in Society Sometimes the beginnings of a science seem gruesome or barbaric, yet the technology or political policy that is derived from it brings a lot of happiness to people (e.g. bioelectricity). Be patient!!!! Sometimes the beginnings of science seem benign, but the technology or political policy derived from it brings a lot of pain to people (e.g. thalidomide). Be critical!!!! Proponents of a new science or technology often promise a panacea and opponents often promise Armageddon. Usually neither are right. My Goals I want you to be able to understand the scientific process so you can help shape the future of society by maximizing the pleasures and minimizing the pain that results from science and technology. I want you to think about when and how you may contribute to the evolution of science by participating in clinical trials or opting for a given procedure. I want you to help our society evolve creatively and thoughtfully in a positive manner. I want you to get a good grade. How to Succeed in Bio G 110 The test questions will come exclusively from the lectures. We will post a PowerPoint presentation of the lecture on the web before each lecture. We will post questions on the web after every lecture. Use those questions to review the lecture. Approximately 60% of each exam will be based on the study questions. Use your textbook as a supplementary resource. Clicker Questions Clicker questions will be given from 9:05 to 9:10 AM. Be on time! Some of the clicker questions will give you practice for exam questions. Others will give you a chance to think about questions that do not have a single right answer. Now we are going to repeat a very famous experiment Did you really think it was going to work? But.... Thirty years from now, when your children take BIO G 110, will they learn that scientists have created life, using more sophisticated equipment, not unlike some of the equipment you will use in lab? If so, in thirty years, which kinds of life are they likely to create? Human Life? A Guinea Pig's Life? A Bacterium? Note: Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat synthesized a virus in 1955. The press reported that he accomplished the`creation of life in the te tube'. What is Life? ...a complicated arrangement of atoms and electromagnetic forces? ...a complicated arrangement of atoms and electromagnetic forces as well as a vital force (e.g. spirit, soul)? Two Philosophies of Life Materialistic and Mechanistic Life, including the aspects of consciousness and individuality, can be explained as emergent properties by the Laws of Chemistry and Physics Vitalistic Life, especially the aspects of consciousness and individuality, cannot be explained by the Laws of Chemistry and Physics Emergent Properties Definition: An irreducible feature of a whole that cannot be inferred directly from the features of its simpler parts. Examples: The aqueous properties of water are emergent properties with respect to the oxygen gas and hydrogen gas of which it is composed. The taste of table salt is an emergent property with respect to the sodium metal and chlorine gas of which it is composed. Figure 2.3. The emergent properties of a compound Sodium Chlorine Sodium Chloride Materialist Interpretation of Emergent Properties We believe that the properties of water and table salt emerge exclusively from the physical and chemical properties of the component parts. We do not believe that the magical quantity of "aquosity" or "salinity" entered the molecules at their moment of synthesis. Thomas H. Huxley (1890) compared vitality to aquosity "Is the case in any way changed when carbonic acid, water, and ammonium disappear, and in their place, under the influence of pre-existing living protoplasm, an equivalent weight of the matter of life makes its appearance? ...What better philosophical status has `vitality' than `aquosity'?" Life in Bio G 109 and Bio G 110 In Bio G 109, we defined the scope of the living world in terms of hierarchical levels that spanned upwards from the organism to the biosphere and downwards to cells and molecules. Here we will define life operationally as something that exhibits a certain suite of characteristics. Operational Definition of Life: moves by internal forces takes up small molecules and synthesizes large organic molecules that it uses to grow transforms one kind of energy into other forms of energy, often by "burning" organic molecules using oxygen generates electrical energy responds appropriately to the environment reproduces with near perfect fidelity The Basic Unit of Life The cell is the basic physicochemical and biological unit of life, since it is the smallest unit capable of exhibiting the fundamental characteristics of life. There is no clear distinction between the living and the lifeless. Are viruses the smallest living organism as the botanist Martinus Beijerinck thought when he isolated the tobacco mosaic virus in 1898 or are they the largest molecules as the chemist Wendell Stanley thought when he crystallized the tobacco mosaic virus in 1935? A Materialistic and Mechanical Sense of Wonder We will study the processes that define life from a physical and chemical point of view. I hope this approach will increase your understanding of life, your appreciation of the wonders and mysteries of life and enhance your reverence for life. ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/24/2007 for the course BIO G 110 taught by Professor Wayne,r. during the Spring '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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