Natural Sciences 1 - The Laws and Models of Chemistry
Historical and logical methods are used to understand and analyze the atomic theory of matter. The basic question of the course is: What is the world made of? Scientific models which purport to answer this question have historically been classified under the science of science of chemistry. Hence, Natural Sciences 1 is a chemistry course that begins with the Ancient Greek philosophers and continues into the early twentieth century. It starts with the idea that matter is composed of Thales' one element or Empedocles' four elements, and ends with Mendeleev's periodic table of some ninety-odd elements ordered in terms of weight. The course focuses upon several key concepts, such as weight, structure, and complexity, in an attempt to understand the material basis of the world.
Philip Wheelwright, The Presocratics
Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe
Antoine Lavoisier, Elements of Chemistry
Francis Bacon, New Organon
Stanislao Cannizzaro, Sketch of a Course in Chemical Philosophy
Selections from: Robert Boyle, Amedeo Avogadro, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, James Prescott Joule, Blaise Pascal, Pierre Bulong, Georg Stahl,Joseph Priestly, Bejamin Thompson, John Dalton.
Natural Sciences 2 - Evolution, Genetics and Animal Behavior
Natural Sciences 2 explores the interaction among living organisms. Consideration is given to the level of genetic units within the organism, the level of species, the environmental level, and the level of human concern. The concept of evolution provides groundwork for this inquiry into biological organization. Readings are organized so as to provide movement from general theoretical viewpoints to biological precision and back to the more general. The relationships between evolution, on the one hand, and cellular organization, genetics, the environment, animal behavior, and philosophical thought, on the other hand, are foci for discussion.
Aristotle, On The Soul, Parts of Animals
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
Gregor Mendel, "Experiments in Plant Hybridization"
Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression
Jane Goodall, Through a Window
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Zoological Philosophy
Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb
Natural Sciences 3 - Light, Motion and Scientific Explanation
Within the context of the physical sciences, this course explores the nature of scientific explanation. We examine the development of the theories of falling bodies, gravitation, light, electromagnetic forces, and relativity. The investigation of physical theories leads the student to attempt to answer such crucial scientific questions as these: What phenomena need to be explained? How are they explained? What constitutes a satisfactory explanation? What is the nature of physical reality? (Prerequisite: Natural Sciences 1 and Integrative Studies 2)
Isaac Newton, Opticks, Philosophy of Nature
Albert Einstein and Leopold Infeld, Evolution of Physics
Albert Einstein, Relativity
Selections from: Galileo, Hans Christian Ørsted, Christiaan Huygens, Thomas Young, Augustin-Jean Fresnel, C.F. du Fay, Benjamin Franklin, James Clerk Maxwell
Natural Sciences 4 - Quantum Physics and Molecular Biology
Natural Sciences 4 focuses on the question: What is life? In searching for an answer, students come to an understanding of modern quantum physics. They examine the complexity of DNA and RNA and the causal relationship of those substances to the laws of genetics studied in Natural Sciences 2. The concept of evolution is widened to include not only the microscopic (molecular evolution) but also the macroscopic (the universe as a whole). The course culminates in an extension of biological inquiry to the levels of knowledge and human interaction. (Prerequisite: Natural Sciences 2 and 3)
Erwin Schrödinger, What is Life?
Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy
George Gamow, Thirty Years That Shook Physics
Richard Feynmann, QED
Freeman Dyson, Origins of Life
Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, Origins of Sex: Three Billion Years of Genetic Recombination