The Biology I Course was developed through the Ohio Department of Higher Education OER Innovation Grant. The course is part of the Ohio Transfer Assurance Guides and is also named OSC003. This work was completed and the course was posted in October 2019. For more information about credit transfer between Ohio colleges and universities, please visit: www.ohiohighered.org/transfer.Team LeadCathy Sistilli Eastern Gateway Community CollegeContent ContributorsLisa Aschemeier Northwest State Community CollegeShaun Blevins Rhodes State CollegeRachel Detraz Edison State Community College Sara Finch Sinclair Community CollegeWendy Gagliano Clark State Community College AJ Snow University of Akron Wayne CollegeLibrarianAmanda Rinehart Ohio State UniversityReview TeamJessica Hall Ohio Dominican UniversitySanhita Gupta Kent State UniversityErica Mersfelder Sinclair Community College
The theory of evolution is the unifying theory of biology, meaning it is the framework within which biologists ask questions about the living world. Its power is that it provides direction for predictions about living things that are borne out in ongoing experiments. The Ukrainian-born American geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously wrote that “nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution.” He meant that the tenet that all life has evolved and diversified from a common ancestor is the foundation from which we approach all questions in biology.
Genetics is the study of heredity. Johann Gregor Mendel set the framework for genetics long before chromosomes or genes had been identified, at a time when meiosis was not well understood. Mendel selected a simple biological system and conducted methodical, quantitative analyses using large sample sizes. Because of Mendel’s work, the fundamental principles of heredity were revealed. We now know that genes, carried on chromosomes, are the basic functional units of heredity with the capability to be replicated, expressed, or mutated. Today, the postulates put forth by Mendel form the basis of classical, or Mendelian, genetics. Not all genes are transmitted from parents to offspring according to Mendelian genetics, but Mendel’s experiments serve as an excellent starting point for thinking about inheritance.
In scientific terms, phylogeny is the evolutionary history and relationship of an organism or group of organisms. A phylogeny describes the organism's relationships, such as from which organisms it may have evolved, or to which species it is most closely related. Scientists must collect accurate information that allows them to make evolutionary connections among organisms. It is a highly dynamic field of biology because phylogenetic modeling concepts are constantly changing as new information is collected. Over the last several decades, new research has challenged scientists’ ideas about how organisms are related.