An Education in Biology
Richard Katz 2006
Biology is taught backward.
Roche's Biochemical Pathways chart isn't a biochemical pathways chart; it's THE biochemical pathways chart. Everybody -- literally everybody -- should learn their way around that chart in school; everybody should grok that there is such a thing.
Everybody should learn their way way around that chart before they learn anything else in their education in biology.
The study of Biology right now is practically the opposite; it emphasizes all the differences between and amongst all the plants and animals and microorganisms.
If everybody were aware that all of God's creatures have pretty much the same chemistry, that would render moot all of the vitriol about Evolution; and most of the arrant nonsense about Health and Nutrition.
First things first.
An interactive Biochemical Pathways chart is displayed, one that lights up here and there.
The Instructor lights up something familiar, e.g. glucose, and says a few words about it, perhaps even displays a photograph of some kind.
The Instructor lights up something else familiar, e.g. cellulose; and then,
The Instructor lights up something else familiar, e.g. ascorbic acid.
The Instructor lights up all the amino acids at once.
The Instructor lights up DNA.
The Instructor lights up fats, or fatty acids.
The Instructor lights up a few vitamins.
The Instructor lights up testosterone, and a few other steroids.
The Students don't have to write down any of the details.
The Instructor displays a similar size map of the NYC subways and ferries
The Instructor lights up, in rapid fire order, the Statue of Liberty; Wall Street; Yankee Stadium; Broadway and 42nd Street; Madison Square Garden; Lincoln Center; Columbia University; Fifth Avenue; Harlem; Madison Avenue; the United Nations; Coney Island; JFK Airport; the Brooklyn Bridge; showing a picture of each one and saying as few words as necessary to describe it.
The Instructor finishes up by pointing out, that the Biochemical Pathways chart isn't a map, exactly; the Instructor is just trying to show you that it's how you get from here to there, so to speak. And those chemical compounds on the Biochemical Pathways chart aren't places, but they are familiar things, just like Wall Street is a familiar thing, and most people have never been to the actual place. We just want everybody to really grok that just as you can take the train from Wall Street to Brooklyn, you can eat sugar and make proteins from it; hair, even. (Yep, hair is all protein.) It's on that chart. And all of God's creatures use approximately the same chart (just like there's only one NYC subway/ferry system; note that the analogy to the NYC subway is purposely a bad one, that purposely any student should be able to point out that there are MANY cities with subway systems and they are all different from the one in New York, sometimes radically so [eg BART in San Francisco Bay Area], hence there is only one such chart.
back to Richard Katz's homepage