This course evaluates life as a feature of Earth, tracing the planetary changes that allowed life to originate, evolve, and diversify. This course asks students to challenge their definition of life and reflect on readings of primary literature. The rise of multicellularity, taxonomic diversity, biochemistry, biogeography, and other biological and ecological concepts will be placed within the framework of the Five Big Ideas of Biology-
1.) Evolution; 2.) Structure and Function; 3.) Information Flow and Storage; 4.) Transformation of Matter and Energy; 5.) Systems.
"From so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." - Charles Darwin