Biology has become too massive to memorize factoids the way you were encouraged to in traditional biology courses. This book is organized around the 5 Big Ideas of biology: Information, Evolution, Cells, Emergent Properties and Homeostasis - core concepts around which biological knowledge is built. Each Big Idea is examined at five levels of biological hierarchy. We have re-envisioned the introductory biology teaching and learning experience with a book that emphasizes concepts and the core competencies of critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and data interpretation.


The five big ideas and five levels of the biological hierarchy

Information in Molecules and Cells

  • Chapter 1: Heritable Material
  • Chapter 2: Central Dogma
  • Chapter 3: Reproduction and Cell Division 

Evolution of Molecules and Cells 

  • Chapter 4: Evolution and Origin of Cells
  • Chapter 5: Evolution Applied
  • Chapter 6: Evolution of Eukaryotes 

Cells at the Molecular and Cellular Levels

  • Chapter 7: Molecular Structure and Function
  • Chapter 8:Cells Structure and Function
  • Chapter 9: Neurons and Muscles 

Homeostasis of Molecules and Cells

  • Chapter 10: Cellular Respiration
  • Chapter 11: Photosynthesis
  • Chapter 12: Plant Physiology 

Emergent Properties of Molecules and Cells

  • Chapter 13: Molecular Switches
  • Chapter 14: Cell Networks
  • Chapter 15: Animal Physiology 

Information in Populations and Ecological Systems

Evolution in Populations and Ecological Systems

  • Chapter 19: Mechanisms of Evolution
  • Chapter 20: Evolutionary History
  • Chapter 21: Evolution of Interactions in Communities 

Cells in Populations and Ecological Systems

  • Chapter 22: Disease
  • Chapter 23: Cells in Tissues
  • Chapter 24: Ecological Dynamics 

Emergent Properties in Populations and Ecological Systems

  • Chapter 25: Individuals and Emergence
  • Chapter 26: Properties of Populations
  • Chapter 27: Ecological Interactions 

Homeostasis of Populations and Ecological Systems

  • Chapter 28: Organismal Homeostasis
  • Chapter 29: Population Homeostasis
  • Chapter 30: Ecological Homeostasis