Biology A introduces students to the scientific method and major concepts of biology from an historical and practical viewpoint. The three major themes of this course are the cell, the molecular basis of heredity, and taxonomy and speciation. Students who take this class will have a deeper appreciation for the complexities of living organisms. Life on this planet, unlike anywhere else in the observable universe, is complex and highly organized. Whether examining life on the molecular or the planetary level, it exhibits a highly organized structure that inspires awe by its genius and complexity. In the last 50 years, discoveries have launched new branches of biology that have transformed the daily routine, from conception to death. New challenges await, such as the current crisis in ecology, global warming, and the resurgence in viral disease. To make rational choices in the 21st century, the citizen must have a basic understanding of biological concepts and the reasoning behind them.