The full range of topics covered in the biological sciences include some of the most important aspects that affect human life on earth as well as in space. For example, the development and use of modern medicine has as its base, the understanding of cell structure and microbiology as well as the function of tissues, organs and organ-systems of the human body. In addition, a good classification system is essential for modern medicine. Physicians and medical researchers must know exactly what organism is causing a given disease. A general notion of the type of organism is simply not good enough. By knowing precisely what organism is causing the disease, then and only then is its prevention and cure is possible. Furthermore, it is essential to know exactly what species and subspecies will act as a vector, thereby spreading that disease organism. Only then can effective measures be taken to control the spread of the disease. For example the Tsetse Fly is a vector that spreads the flagellate Trypanosoma. Trypanosoma causes the disease Sleeping Sickness in Africa. By understanding the classification of flies, the Tsetse Fly (a very specific species) can be identified, controlled and possibly eliminated. In some parts of southern Africa, the Tsetse Fly has been totally eliminated. By knowing the classification of protists, the flagellate Tiypanosoma that causes Sleeping Sickness can be correctly identified, and only after that, properly studied and perhaps even eliminated as the Tsetse Fly is eradicated.
We live immersed in a world of bacteria. There are more bacteria on and in a person, than number of cells in the human body. Even so, we have evolved a highly successful immune system that usually prevents successful bacterial invasions. By understanding the mechanisms of this immune system, health care workers are better able to advise the general public on cures for diseases as well as preventive health care measures. By means of successful education, witchcraft and other pseudo sciences have given way to modern scientific methods of investigation that help us understand the real basis of cause and effect. The more that the voting public that is capable of critical thinking in the scientific mode, the better that reasonable and effective laws can be devised to safeguard the general public health.
Studying in the Department of Biology at KSU gives students much more than knowledge and understanding related to health issues. Such courses as Anatomy and Physiology help people become aware of the normal structure and function of the human body. Courses such as Biology 10 are designed to help students understand not only human biology, but the larger perspective of how people fit into the world of life as part of the earth's ecosystems. Courses such as Ecology, Marine Biology and Botany also fulfill this valuable goal. But even more effective in increasing pubic awareness of the world around us, are the field studies. Field courses take students to such places as the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Sea of Cortez, Wyoming and Costa Rica.
The most effective way by which people can learn about the environment is in the field. A person cannot effectively learn about another culture unless he or she lives in that country. A carpenter could never learn how to properly build a house simply by taking a course located entirely in a classroom. Practical experience in home building is essential to becoming a good carpenter. So it is with understanding our world of life. One cannot fully understand ecosystems and how the human species fits into the environment without spending time in the field observing living organisms in their natural habitats. It is a modern tragedy in today's world , that the majority of people are anthropocentric, generally unaware of the value of other life forms and how those forms interact with one another. The very survival of the human species will depend on our ability to understand thoroughly the ecosystems of the earth and world ecology.
Working with the text.
Answer the questions about the text:
1. What topics are covered by a biological science?
2. Why is a good classification so important in a modern science?
3. Can you give any examples how biological studies can help a person or any other living organism to fit better into the world of life or survive?
4. Why is it important to understand mechanisms of the immune system?
5. Do you agree that successful education can overcome witchcraft and other pseudo sciences and give way to modern scientific methods of investigation that help us understand the real basis of cause and effect?
6. What knowledge does your faculty give you?
7. What valuable goals do you suppose to fulfill while studying at KSU?
8. What is the most effective way to increase your awareness of the world around us?
9. Where do your field courses take place?
10. Do you agree that a modern tragedy in today's world is that the majority of people are anthropocentric, generally unaware of the value of other life forms and how those forms interact with one another.