General biology; a book of outlines and practical studies for the general student (1920) by James G Needham

General biology; a book of outlines and practical studies for the general student (1920) by  James G Needham

General biology

General biology; offers a series of practical studies of biological phenomena for the guidance of the general student. It is not a formal text, and not at all a treatise, but only a guide intended to assist the student in acquiring for himself some real knowledge of living nature. It differs chiefly from other books intended for the use of college classes in the wider range of studies it offers, some important phases of biology having hitherto been dismissed with mere didactic instruction. 

Morphology has dominated — often monopolized — college work in biology in the past; doubtless, because it was first reduced to pedagogic form and made available for laboratory instruction. A more equable treatment is here attempted, in the hope of leading the student to a practical acquaintance with elementary phenomena in the whole broad field. The generation of biologists which began its studies with Huxley and Martin's pioneer laboratory manual has witnessed a marvelous expansion of biological knowledge. Departments have sprung up, and teachers, as well as practitioners, have specialized, and courses have multiplied amazingly. 

Yet I am persuaded, that the reasons given by Huxley and Martin for offering a general course are as valid today as they were in 1868. Indeed I am inclined to think that some added reasons have grown out of the increasing applications of biological knowledge to the practical affairs of life. The conditions of our living make ever increasing demands for knowledge of life phenomena, and some comprehension of biological principles is fast becoming a part of the common intelligence.

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