Excerpts from site:

Welcome to an On-Line Biology Book Table of Contents. Click on the underlined items to go to those chapters. The text items are modified lecture outlines I have developed over the many years of teaching college-level introductory biology.

Biology literally means "the study of life". Biology is such a broad field, covering the minute workings of chemical machines inside our cells, to broad scale concepts of ecosystems and global climate change. Biologists study intimate details of the human brain, the composition of our genes, and even the functioning of our reproductive system. Biologists recently all but completed the deciphering of the human genome, the sequence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) bases that may determine much of our innate capabilities and predispositions to certain forms of behavior and illnesses. DNA sequences have played major roles in criminal cases (O.J. Simpson, as well as the reversal of death penalties for many wrongfully convicted individuals), as well as the impeachment of President Clinton (the stain at least did not lie). We are bombarded with headlines about possible health risks from favorite foods (Chinese, Mexican, hamburgers, etc.) as well as the potential benefits of eating other foods such as cooked tomatoes. Informercials tout the benefits of metabolism-adjusting drugs for weight loss. Many Americans are turning to herbal remedies to ease arthritis pain, improve memory, as well as improve our moods.

Can a biology book give you the answers to these questions? No, but it will enable you learn how to sift through the biases of investigators, the press, and others in a quest to critically evaluate the question. To be honest, five years after you are through with this class it is doubtful you would remember all the details of meatbolism. However, you will know where to look and maybe a little about the process of science that will allow you to make an informed decision. Will you be a scientist? Yes, in a way. You may not be formally trained as a science major, but you can think critically, solve problems, and have some idea about what science can and cannoit do. I hope you will be able to tell the shoe from the shinola.