122: Life: Meaning and Mystery
Science, Spirit & Stewardship
This course is intended for non-majors who wish
to experience science as a reflective inquiry (rather than as a list of facts)
and biology majors who might wish for a more thoughtful experience while performing
science. In the laboratory, we explore first-hand the abundance and diversity
of life in seemingly lifeless habitats, the wonder that attends the moment of
fertilization as egg meets sperm, the mystery of the embryonic field within
the developing chicken heart, and the record of ancient oceans that lies beneath
our feet. In discussion sessions, we examine the "meaning": the story
and the models that we create around such issues as when life began, when a
new life is formed, the ethics and morality of stem cell manipulation and the
biological plasticity of gender. Students will have an opportunity to create
a lasting relationship with nature, and to discover what stewardship means.
This course demands active participation, and promises rich personal experiences.