Links and Resources

  Online courses

    Useful links

    • Online catalog: Biology courses and requirements
    • The Virtual Fetal Pig Dissection — developed by Prof. Earl Fleck with a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; cited in an Oct. 2006 N.Y. Times article on widely-used educational sites.
    • College Scholarships, Grad School and GRE Information
    • PRACTICE GRE exams!
    • Look at the World Wide Web Virtual Library: Biosciences for entrance into the world of biology on the Internet.
    • Microbiology: An excellent site for almost all Microbiology topics can be found at Microbes.Info
    • Evolution /Creation Controversy Frequently Asked Questions. In this FAQ you will find answers to many of the questions asked by creationists about evolutionary theory.
      Note that courses in our department are completely integrated with evolutionary theory and facts, since, as T. Dobzhansky put it so well, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." The Genome Project is particularly illustrative of this--many details of the Human Genome announced in Feb. 2001 are incomprehensible without evolutionary understanding. The recent rise of the "Intelligent Design" or ID movement has not made an impact on biology primarily because its hypotheses cannot be tested and/or falsified, two features necessary for consideration in science. Moreover, some of the more scientific-sounding ID proposals such as "Irreducible Complexity" or IC make little sense. An IC system is said to be one that ceases to function if any single part is damaged. Thus it is proposed, such a system could not have evolved in gradual steps. This idea falls apart quite quickly when examined closely. First, evolution can indeed come up with IC systems (e.g., through loss of overlapping functions). Second, IC, if it were a result of "design", would be judged as incompetent, not intelligent. As any engineer knows, a designer will make any crucial system to be either as SIMPLE (not complex) as possible, so that failure is unlikely, or as REDUNDANT (not irreducible) as possible so that there are back-ups when critical parts fail. For example, think about how we'd regard an automobile designer who made a car with no spare tire, no hand brake, no multiple bolts and rivets to hold parts together. Finally, the systems presented by the ID movement as "IC"--the bacterial flagellum (of which there are 100s of different related types), mammalian blood-clotting, etc.--are not irreducible in any straightforward way and show clear signs of evolutionary history. For example, if the flagellum loses its so-called paddle, it still functions as a protein-secretory motor, which structural analysis indicates is the ancestral function of the motor.
    • The Tree of Life Phylogeny Navigator. At his site you will find a series of pages showing the phylogeny or classification of a group of organisms. It is under construction at present but clearly shows what is possible in the future on the internet.
    • Developmental Biology: Visual Models of Morphogenesis: A Guided Tour. Patterns of development in biological systems are often difficult to portray. This site provides some fine graphics allowing you to visualize developmental patterns.
    • Birding in Walla Walla and Vicinity: Go to the local Blue Mountain Audubon page for lots of useful information. Also, Shirley Muse suggests the following locations for good birding in the Walla Walla valley.