Course: Biology for High School - Part One
The principles of biology; the four causes of nature; human and lower animal physiology; classification; plant structure and physiology
This is PART ONE of a two part Catholic biology course.
This refreshing high school biology course provides the student with a philosophically sound and Traditional Catholic view of life and God's gift of living creation, all based upon the wisdom and guidance of the Catholic Church's greatest theologian, Saint Thomas Aquinas. Topics of reproduction are treated very delicately, with no explicit texts or images.
For convenience and flexibility, the course is divided into two parts:
-- PART ONE of this two-part biology course covers the principles of biology, the four causes of nature (including the soul and the various levels of souls - vegetative, sensitive, and rational); biology must not be godless and materialist; animal powers in general (intelligence, instinct, memory, and sensation); human structure and physiology; the physiology of the lower animals; animal classification; plant structure, physiology, and classification.
-- PART TWO of this two-part biology course covers more advanced topics: ecology, celluar and molecular biology, genetics and heredity, and evolution. The arguments for evolution are proposed and then systematically refuted as a viable explanation of living things.
Note that each part of this course can be easily covered in 36 weeks. Thus the entire book can be covered in two school years (we recommend sophomore and junior years). This is the easier, but longer route. For those parents wishing for a more challenging route, the entire book could be completed in one 36 week schoolyear, but this would require a very disciplined student, working at least one full hour per day, 5 days per week, as well as weekend work.
After completing this course, the student will not only be familiar with the science of biology itself (all the usual topics), but that student also:
-- will see that there is a proper way to approach the lower sciences such as biology; that approach must be always guided by the higher sciences (theology and philosophy);
-- will be able to explain why it is impossible that the complexity and powers we see in nature could be accounted for by material causes (chemicals) alone; a Creator is needed, Who moves the living world through the immaterial cause of the plant or animal soul;
-- will see that the Catholic Faith is compatible with true science.
A Deep Problem with most biology textbooks
Almost every modern biology textbook - including some that are called 'Christian' - follow a typical public school model which is atheistic and materialistic. These books first introduce the student to chemicals (atoms and simple molecules) as the primary cause of life. There is a reason for this. Life, for them, is nothing but a special arrangement of chemicals. Building on this false premise, these books then proceed to show how those simple but very special chemical compounds combine into complicated DNA/RNA. From these, we get simple plants, complex plants, simple animals and complex animals, and of course, the most "evolved" creature, man! The unfortunate student subjected to such books will at best be less shocked by and more comfortable with the godless, evolutionary propaganda all around us. At worst, such an unfortunate student begins to doubt and lose the Catholic Faith; the conclusions of such evil books are not compatible with the Faith or even good philosophy.
A Catholic approach to help our children see clearly
Instead, this Catholic biology course and its textbook follow an entirely different approach - one guided by the wisdom of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. The book begins with ALL FOUR causes of nature (just just chemicals). Yes, these two great thinkers show that life cannot be accounted for by chemicals alone, and that there needs to be other causes. One of those is the immaterial cause called the soul, and this is more important than the mere material (chemical) causes of life. Even worms and plants have a soul. Some Catholics are at first taken aback by the term 'soul' being applied to lower animals and even plants; and yet, as the above-mentioned great thinkers show, without a soul, there is no life whatsoever. Of course, the human soul is unique in that it is rational, immortal, and directly infused by God.
This Catholic book then proceeds systematically through the science of biology, beginning from what men know best - their common experience of nature. From that common experience, it systematically descends to the lesser known causes, ending with a study of the hard-to-know chemical causes (atoms, molecules, RNA/DNA). After familiarizing the student with all the usual expected biological topics, the book ends with a systematic refutation of evolution as a viable explanation of nature.
Course Length (in weeks):