Catalogue 2012 - 2013

HON 220 Foundations and Central Ideas of the Natural Sciences


3 cr.


Acceptance into the Honors Program.

Course Description

This course examines the nature of the universe from the standpoint of the natural sciences. It begins with an introduction to the approach used by the natural sciences to study the universe, the scientific method. Five major ideas in the natural sciences: the structure of the atom (physics), the periodic table (chemistry), the big bang theory of the origin of the universe (astronomy), plate tectonics (geology), the structure of DNA (biology), and evolution (biology) are then examined in the context of their historical development and the scientific method. Once these have been discussed, the natural sciences will be contrasted with other fields of human endeavor, comparing the methods used by each with the scientific method. Finally, complex questions from the real world of applied fields will be analyzed and the method of benefit/risk analysis will be introduced. This course satisfies the lab science requirement.