Myths & Facts About Biology – What You Need to Know Before You Start Classes
Myths & Facts About Biology – What You Need to Know Before You Start Classes
When you think of biology, what comes to mind?—endless dirt and drippy plants? —No. Maybe the word “biology” conjures up images of microscopic organisms, vast webs of DNA, and all things evolve. Maybe not so much. In reality, it’s far more than that. Biology is any science that studies life: its origin, distribution, characteristics, and interactions with humans. It is a very broad topic but homely in its content. If you’re serious about learning how to learn, then you should consider taking courses in Biology either as an elective or as a future career path. The field is constantly evolving and opening up new opportunities for those who are willing to put in the work necessary to succeed. Here are eight common myths about biology you should know before you start classes…
Myth 1: Biology Is Extremely Abbreviated
This is by far the most frequently heard myth about biology. Sure, the word “biology” is often used in a more general sense, but when you’re just starting out in the field, you’ll still hear people talking about the “biology of X” or the “biological effects of Y.” When you think of biology, you don’t immediately think of statistics or molecular genetics. In fact, the two fields of biology that are often grouped together are statistics and molecular genetics. But either of them could easily be taught in either of the other two fields of biology. In fact, it’s not unusual to find statistics and molecular genetics taught together in one course or even as a third field of biology. The reason biology is often called the “biological sciences” is that it studies life. So, while both statistics and molecular genetics are biological Sciences, they are quite different disciplines with different specialties and subspecialties. You’ll find statistics and molecular genetics both in the “Life Sciences” section of a general biology textbook and in their own departmental section in a biology textbook. So it’s not accurate to say that biology is “extremely” abbreviated.
Myth 2: All You Need to Know in Biology is Ged!
Like many popular subjects in high school, biology is packed with myths and misconceptions. One of the biggest problems students have with biology is that they don’t understand how the field works. They get that they have to “know how to count,” but they don’t realize that there are different fields of biology that teach the knowledge of specific animals, plants, and ecosystems. For example, you have to know a little about how the different kingdoms of life work to be able to do fieldwork in biological sciences, but you don’t have to know about every living thing on earth to pass the biology bar exam. There are still plenty of opportunities to learn about the more general topics in biology in courses like Genetics and Zoology. There is no “one size fits all” solution to learning biology. What you need to know can vary from person to person depending on your interests, career goals, and level of expertise. The only way to learn what you need to know in biology is to spend time in the lab studying under a professional. It’s a good idea to take a statistics or molecular genetics course first in high school so you have a good foundation. Then, when you’re ready, take a course in biology. You’ll be glad you did.
Myth 3: All You Need to Know in Biology is How to Explain the Research Process
This one is pretty serious. When you think of biology, you don’t immediately think of research and statistics. You probably think of straight-laced scientists who use their knowledge and abilities to discover the secrets of life. Many students have the opposite image in their heads: a biologist who, in order to do their research, resorts to pseudoscience. That’s not the case at all. Biology is a very accurate and rigorous science, and any study of life is going to use the scientific method. That is, information is gathered, and then a hypothesis is formed and tested through experiments. The best and most accurate research is conducted by professionals: scientists. In the eyes of a scientist, any study that uses the scientific method is legitimate. While it’s true that some methods aren’t perfect and may produce erroneous results, in the end, a scientist has to rely on data to form her or his opinion. In biology, that means using biological research as data to support a theory or hypothesis. You can’t just make an educated guess and hope to get by on that alone. You need to use your knowledge of the field to strengthen your case. And that’s what the research process is all about: using the tools of science to strengthen your case.
Myth 4: There’s Only One Way to Do Biodiversity Research!
One of the most common misconceptions about biology is that you have to conduct fieldwork in order to do biodiversity research. That’s not the case at all! You can learn about species diversity in a number of ways. For example, you can read articles about species diversity or even watch documentaries about endangered species. Or, you can take a trip to a local zoo and observe which species you can identify. Another way to learn about biodiversity is to study collections of species at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. It has one of the most impressive permanent collections of animals in the world and is home to some of the most fascinating and unusual exhibits. The museum is always open to the public, and you can even reserve a guided tour of the exhibits. There are several ways you can go about doing this research. You can use the Internet, go to the museum, or talk to experts in your field. All you need is a geographic location where species diversity is high and a motivation to learn more about the species in that environment.
Myth 5: All You Need to Know in Biology is Mendelian inheritance.
Mendelian inheritance is one of the most important concepts in all of biology. It’s what makes humans separate from all other animals and allow us to have the most complex and stunningly intricate society on the planet. The basic idea of matrilineal inheritance is that traits are passed from parent to child through the female parent. When a species is divided into two subspecies, the differences between them are mostly determined by the differences between the genes in the two subspecies. This is known as hybridization. But what if you want to study the complex relationships between species? What if you want to look at ways in which human behavior and culture are connected to and dependent on the habits and genes of other species? In that case, you need to learn about the fertilization process, or how species are born. Even then, hybridization is still a factor. And depending on where you want to do your research, there may be very few species with a chance in hell of being able to be interbred with.
Myth 6: All You Need to Know in Genetics is Mendelian inheritance.
Finally, we have the myth about learning about genetics through Mendelian inheritance. The idea here is that every living thing is made of “DNA,” and DNA is the hereditary information that determines a thing’s traits. When you learn about genetics through this method, you’re actually learning about two different subjects: genomics and molecular genetics. Genomics is the study of the DNA in living things. Genes are the tiny bits of genetic code that give an organism its traits (such as eye color or eye shape). Molecular genetics is the study of the DNA in genes and their consequences. But regardless of which branch of biology you choose, you’ll learn that there are a lot of similarities between species, both morphological and genetic, and how they are related to one another. When it comes to genetics, there’s really no such thing as “one way” to do it. The only way to do it well is to find what works best for you and for your particular interests. You’ll find that there are a lot of ways to go with genetics. The only way to find out is to start experimenting. You don’t have to do it perfectly the first time. You just have to try out as many different techniques as you can and see what feels comfortable to you.