Biology 1a Course Syllabus


Junk science exposed in a class that peers beyond the textbook


Part 1: Course Information
Instructor Information

Instructor: Mr.Dave White
Office Hours:  To Be Announced
Contact:  503-433-7733 / E-mail:

Course Introduction

Biology is “the study of life.” It is an extremely important subject when you stop and think that “life” is the  foundational gift that God has given us as human beings. It behooves us to learn all we can about this  priceless gift. Moreover, His fundamental command to Adam & Eve was to “fill the earth and subdue it.”  If that is our job, we need some basic training in order to “get it right.”

Your instructor has a lifetime of experience as  a research scientist in Chemical Engineering and Masters level study in Statistics.  The focus of his research has been exposing the junk science surrounding the issue of global warming.  He is a frequent speaker at conferences on related topics and his recommendations have been adopted by numerous countries contributing to stabilization of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.   He is  often available throughout the day, so please reach out!  He is here to assist you in any way that he can.

This course will help us all to better appreciate the creatures around us, understand the marvels of the human body, and realize the magnificent processes of life. Students will investigate biological systems at the molecular, cellular, and macro-biological level. This course begins with a consideration of the living condition and discussion of the unique properties of living organisms that set life apart from the nonliving. It continues with molecular and cellular biology, from which it moves logically into reproduction and genetics. An understanding of genetics gives meaning to organized variation and methods of scientific classification units dealing with microbiology and the plant and animal phylum. 

Textbook & Course Materials

Required Text: Apologia “Exploring Creation with Biology”

Course Requirements

  • Internet connection (DSL, LAN, or cable connection desirable)
  • Desktop or laptop computer

Course Structure

  • The course is delivered in 16 weekly modules.
  • Each lesson consists of readings in the textbooks, video recorded lectures, discussion posts,documentaries with exercises and chapter quizzes. 
  • The instructor is available during office hours on the Piazza learning platform to answer questions and/or interact with groups of students.

Course Objectives

  • Students will gain a basic understanding of the characteristics and interactions of living organisms
  •  Students will gain a basic understanding of changes in ecosystems.
  • Students will gain a basic understanding of the interactions of organisms with their environments.
  • Students will gain a basic understanding of the process of scientific inquiry.
  • Students will gain a basic understanding of the impact of science, technology, and human activity.

At the conclusion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Define life from a scientific and Biblical perspective
  • Gain an overview of how scientists classify life forms
  • Learn about the microscopic organisms – bacteria — that are so important to our health
  • Learn how to maximize the energy metabolism that keeps us operating at “full-throttle”
  • Learn about the construction of DNA, especially the telomeres that help determine our longevity
  • Practice logic with the scientific method and biological keys
  • Learn to marvel at the intricacy of God’s creation, as detailed in Psalm 139
  • Consider and apply some fundamental ways in which Biology affects our health & longevity Student will meet the objectives listed above through a combination of the following activities in this course through: Attendance and participation in the class forum and discussions, completion of optional  practice exercises, listening to recorded lectures & documentaries, study of assigned text material online,completion of weekly quizzes, and completion of a term project specified for week 16.

Course Outline

Module 1: Biology – The Study of Life

Starting off we are looking for a definition of life, a definition and the five characteristics of living  things.

Weeks 1 and 2

  • Textbook: The Study of Life
  • Lecture – What is Biology?
  • Discussion Post #1

Module 1 Quiz: Biology – The Study of Life
Module 2: Kingdom Monera

Kingdom Monera consists of the simplest one-celled life forms. These organisms have nonucleus and no internal organelles. Bacteria contain only DNA and are parasitic. On the other hand, blue-green algae — the other Phylum in this Kingdom — are autotrophic, producing their own food via photosynthesis.

Weeks 3 and 4

  • Textbook: Kingdom Monera
  • Lecture: Kingdom Monera
  • Lecture: Structure of a Bacteria Cell
  • Lecture: Bacterial Reproduction
  • Discussion Post #2
  • Module 2 Quiz: Kingdom Monera

Module 3: Kingdom Protista

One-celled organisms in Kingdom Protista are distinguished by being eukaryotic with DNA enclosed in a nucleus. They typically have other internal organelles and may be autotrophic or  parasitic. The latter derive their food from other organisms.

Weeks 5 and 6

  • Textbook: Kingdom Protista
  • Lecture: Kingdom Protista
  • Lecture: Structure of the Protista Cell
  • Discussion Post #3

Module 4: Kingdom Fungi

Fungus differ from Protista in that most of them have a multicellular structure, the exception being yeast. Formerly classified in the plant kingdom, the only thing they have in common with plants is their rooting capability. Many are heterotrophs that feed on non-living organic matter and serve as nature’s great garbage disposal system. Others are parasitic that feed on living organisms and may cause a variety of disease in plant and animal. But often they are symbiotic and beneficial and protective of their host in many ways. Their manufacturing ability has provided us with many of our favorite foods and beverages as well as medicines like Penicillin.

Weeks 7 and 8

  • Textbook: Kingdom Fungi
  • Lecture: Kingdom Fungi
  • Lecture: What is a Fungus?
  • Lecture: Kingdom Fungus – Biological Classification
  • Discussion Post #4
  • Module 4 Quiz: Kingdom Fungi

Module 5: The Chemistry of Life

Wait a second! I thought this was a course in Biology, not Chemistry. What gives? Well as it  turns out, when God created the world, He didn’t create it a subject at a time. It all flowed  together in His mind and everything relates to everything else. So, to really understand Biology we really can’t get along without some basic chemistry. Let’s get to it.

Weeks 9 and 10

  • Textbook: The Chemistry of Life
  • Lecture: The Chemistry of Life I
  • Lecture: The Chemistry of Life II
  • Discussion Post #5
  • Module 5 Quiz: The Chemistry of Life
 Module 6: The Cell

This week we take a closer look at the complex living cell. That includes the variety of organelles that occupy the cell and the complex cellular processes that God has intricately woven into their  structure. That includes such diverse functions as absorption, secretion, excretion, active transport, division, and energy activation, among many, many others.

Weeks 11 and 12

  • Textbook: The Cell
  • Video: Organelles of the Cell
  • Video: Web of Complex Biology
  • Lecture: Inner Life of a Cell
  • Discussion Post #6
  • Module 6 Quiz: The Cell

Module 7: Cellular Reproduction and DNA

One of the most mysterious functions of the complex cell is cellular reproduction. Here is how it   works in an amazing step-by-step process under the superintending and preserving hand of God. He has the amazing ability to monitor everything at the same time. “…all things have been created by him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col1:16,17)

Weeks 13 and 14

  • Textbook: Cellular Reproduction and DNA
  • Documentary: Amazing Molecular Machines in Your Body
  • Lecture: Chromosome & Cellular Reproduction
  • Lecture: Mitosis Rap: Mr. W’s Cell Division Song
  • Discussion Post #7
  • Module 7 Quiz: Cellular Reproduction

Module 8: Mendelian Genetics

The logical next step after cell division is reproduction and the transmission of traits from  generation to generation. For years, the laws of Mendelian Genetics were thought to be “fixed  in concreate,” exercising inexorable control over a person’s fate. “I’ve got bad genes” or “I’ve got   good genes” is the familiar expression. Recent advances in the field of EpiGenetics, have demonstrated how genetic expression may be modified by life-style practices and maybe even   medical procedures. EpiGenetic “switches” maybe be turned off to regulate the expression of  “bad genes.”

Weeks 15 and 16

  • Textbook: Mendelian Genetics
  • Lecture: Mendelian Genetics (Genetics History)
  • Lecture: Genetics – Laws of Mendel
  • Lecture: Epigenetics
  • Lecture: How Diet, Exercise and Hyperthermic Conditioning Can Change the Expression of Your Genes
  • Lecture: Dirty Genes (Dr. Ben Lynch)
  • Discussion Post #8
  • Module 8 Exam: Mendelian Genetics

Final Term Project

Stuff They Don’t Teach You in School: The Human Body Field

Part 4: Grading Policy

Graded Course Activities

Your instructor will update the online grades each time a grading session has been complete—typically 2 days following the completion of an activity. You will see a visual indication of new grades posted in Moodle.

The course grade is determined as follows:

The course grade is determined as follows

Discussion Posts


Textbook and Lecture Completion


Module Quizzes

Term Project





Assignment Details

  • Discussions: Participate in 1 bi-weekly discussion (Total: 8)
  • Textbook: Read 1 chapter bi-weekly (Total: 8)
  • Lectures: Watch 1-2 weekly lectures (Total: 22)
  • Module Quizzes: Complete 1 bi-weekly quiz (Total: 8)
  • Term Project: Complete final term project by week 16 (Total: 1)

Late Work Policy: Be sure to pay close attention to deadlines—there will be no make up assignments or quizzes, or late work accepted without a serious and compelling reason and instructor approval.

Letter Grade Assignment

Final grades assigned for this course will be based on the percentage of total
points earned and are assigned as follows:

Letter Grade Percentage Performance

Letter Grade





Excellent Work



Nearly Excellent



Very Good Work



Good Work



Mostly Good Work



Above Average Work



Average Work



Mostly Average Work



Below Average Work



Poor Work



Failing Work

Instructor will be using a tracking tool, discussions, chat sessions, and group  work, to monitor your participation in the course.

Part 5: Course Policies


Build Rapport

If you find that you have any trouble keeping up with assignments or  other aspects of the course, make sure you let your instructor know as early  as possible. As you will find, building rapport and effective relationships are  key to becoming an effective professional. Make sure that you are proactive in  informing your instructor when difficulties arise during the semester so that  they can help you find a solution.

Complete Assignments

  •  Assignments must be submitted by the given deadline or special  permission must be requested from instructor before the due date. Extensions  will not be given beyond the next assignment except under extreme  circumstances.
  • All discussion assignments must be completed by the assignment due  date and time. Late or missing discussion assignments will affect the student’s  grade.

Understand When You May Drop This Course

It is the student’s responsibility to understand when they need to   consider disenrolling from a course. After this period, a serious and    compelling reason is required to drop from the course.

Incomplete Policy

 Under emergency/special circumstances, students may petition for an   incomplete grade. Inform Your Instructor of Any Accommodations Needed 

 Commit to Integrity

 As a student in this course (and at this Academy) you are expected to   maintain high degrees of professionalism, commitment to active learning and   participation in this class and also integrity in your behavior in and out of the  classroom.

Academic Dishonesty Policy

Academic dishonesty includes such things as cheating, inventing false information or citations, plagiarism and helping someone else commit an act  of academic dishonesty. It usually involves an attempt by a student to show  possession of a level of knowledge or skill that he/she does not possess.

Course instructors have the initial responsibility for detecting and dealing with academic dishonesty. Instructors who believe that an act of academic dishonesty has occurred are obligated to discuss the matter with the  student(s) involved. Instructors should possess reasonable evidence of academic dishonesty. However, if circumstances prevent consultation with student(s), instructors may take whatever action (subject to student appeal) they deem appropriate.

Instructors who are convinced by the evidence that a student is guilty of academic dishonesty shall assign an appropriate academic penalty. If the instructors believe that the academic dishonesty reflects on the student’s academic performance or the academic integrity in a course, the student’s grade should be adversely affected. Suggested guidelines for appropriate actions are: an oral reprimand in cases where there is reasonable doubt that the student knew his/her action constituted academic dishonesty; a failing grade on the particular paper, project or examination where the act of dishonesty was unpremeditated, or where there were significant mitigating circumstances; a failing grade in the course where the dishonesty was premeditated or planned. The instructors will file incident reports with the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs and for Student Affairs or their designees. These reports shall include a description of the alleged incident of academic dishonesty, any relevant documentation, and any recommendations for action that he/she deems appropriate.