Models and Analogues in Biology

By Society for Experimental Biology | Go to book overview

As with the intermediate syllabus, we emphasize those two outstanding patterns of life, the mammal and flowering plants, to be studied in the greater detail appropriate to the advanced phase. Study of the mammal should of course continue to include all appropriate human references, with suitable mention of our distinctively human characteristics. Our syllabus then has a section covering a greater variety of other patterns of life than was possible in the intermediate phase. This is followed by a section on elementary ecology, again a development of the intermediate work, and finally comes a section containing a number of general biological topics which it seems appropriate to group together under the general title 'The Nature, Continuance and Diversification of Life'. In this section would come, among other items, the course on evolution, heredity and variation which could only receive bare mention lower in the school.

Advanced phase syllabuses in zoology and botany are further developments from advanced phase biology. For example, the various patterns of animal life represented by animal types should be studied comparatively against the background provided by a simple classification of the animal kingdom and we suggest that, although embryology is not easy to teach, there should be an attempt to convey to the pupils a general idea of the ways in which the reproductive cells of a few selected vertebrates, or rather chordates, develop into new individuals, e.g. Branchiostoma (Amphioxus), the frog, the chick and the rabbit. Animal natural history should include study either of a common group of animals or of the animals of some well-defined habitat, possible groups of animals being available among the groups of the animal kingdom, even single species, or there could be study of a group of animals of economic importance where there should be some consideration of methods of improvement or rational exploitation or, in the case of pests, control-- including biological control where available.

The syllabus for advanced phase botany includes some systematic work involving the use of a Flora, but we have tried to encourage a fresh approach to such a long-established subject as botany by putting the natural history section first. We consider that students should be encouraged from the start to study living wild plants in their natural environment and living domesticated plants under cultivation. Some plants should be grown from seed to further the study of individual life-cycles. Although further morphological and physiological work will be necessary, we reckon that the previous intermediate phase work, with--in some cases--advanced phase biology in addition, should have provided sufficient basic knowledge to enable advanced phase natural history of plants to be tackled early in the full botany course, or at least started then, which normally means in September when the school year usually begins.


CONCLUSION

Throughout our syllabuses we have tried to show by means of detailed hints how various items might be treated in the courses based on them, e.g. in order

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Models and Analogues in Biology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Quantum Physics and Biology† 1
  • Models in Genetics 6
  • Kinetic Models of Development And Heredity 13
  • Tissues in Culture and in the Body 28
  • References 40
  • Models of Muscle 41
  • References 66
  • Mechanical Models in Zoology 69
  • Conclusions 82
  • Physical Models in Biology 83
  • Estimation of Values Of Parameters of a Model to Conform With Observations 102
  • Summary 120
  • Applications of Theoretical Models to the Study of Flight- Behaviour in Locusts and Birds 122
  • References 138
  • Electrical Analogues in Biology 140
  • Computers and the Nervous System 152
  • References 168
  • Models in Cybernetics 169
  • References 190
  • Modelling of Large-Scale Nervous Activity 192
  • Conclusions 197
  • Energy Models of Motivation 199
  • Summary 212
  • The Use of Models in the Teaching Of Embryology 214
  • School Biology as An Educational Model 230
  • Conclusion 241
  • The Problem of Communication In Biological Teaching 243
  • Acknowledge Ments 248
  • A Review of the Symposium: Models and Analogues in Biology 250
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