Biology is the study of living things. It impacts everything we do. The air we breathe, is the product of photosynthesizing organisms. Our food, wouldnâ€™t exist without the ability of plants to convert solar energy into a form that we (or, perhaps, the herbivores we eat) can utilize. The car we drive, most likely, runs by petroleum, derived from the fossils of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Vaccinations to protect us from viruses and other diseases are derived from chicken embryos. Protection from ultraviolet rays from the Sun, well thank the photosynthesizers again. Our opposable thumb, the adaptation that lets us hold a pen, open a package, and pick up a cell phone, well thank natural selection, on many consecutive generations of our ancestors. Living things interact with their environments, changing those environments and themselves, and being changed in return.
This first semester of Biology covers an awful lot of ground. Itâ€™s what is called a â€œsurvey course,â€ meaning that it surveys many different areas without going into great depth in any one of them. This course is divided into 4 units: Ecology, Cells, Genetics, and Evolution. You will cover a lot of information and hundreds of vocabulary terms in this course. It is not as important to memorize the meaning of al