jayisabood replied to your post: It’s sad that biology is general seen as a step…i went to a science school where bio is kind of seen as “science lite” but i took a bio class and WOW GENE REGULATION??? WOW CELLS??? WOW DNA —> ORGANISMS WOW????
Yeah !! Biology is cool as hell and a lot of the time I get down on myself for liking it better than like
chemistry or physics or math or something Serious and Difficult but wow fuck elitism I get to think about echidna penises so who’s laughing now.
The whole “biology is the softest hard science” thing you get from some people in other scientific disciplines drives me absolutely up the wall. I mean, if we’re defining Serious and Difficult as “mathy”, population ecology and demographics are based around matrices, and statistics as a discipline was founded in order to answer questions about evolutionary biology. In fact, one of the current biggest fields of applied mathematics is (gasp!) modeling biological theory so that biological empiricists can evaluate it. But, hell, I admit my section of bio is one of the more mathtastic ones. As it turns out, though, not having a ton of math doesn’t make the techniques necessary to identify cells along particular pathways or create genetic contig libraries in yeast or bacteria any easier.
Honestly, a lot of this “biology is sooooo easy” stuff can be dated back to around the time the discipline started achieving reliable gender parity. Before then, biology was widely considered just as “difficult” and “real” as physics and chemistry were. Don’t even get me started on the fact that not being able to get simple, quantifiable numbers with certainty usually stems from working with a very complex system with many factors, not all of which are entirely controllable.
(Seriously, if I hear another physicist—and in my experience, this crap almost always comes from physicists and occasionally engineers—whine to me that my discipline is “soft” and somehow “easier” than theirs, I’m going to smack them. Percentages of undergraduates who fail their course =/= “easiness” of subject. You can teach a course so that everyone who puts a tiny bit of effort in passes or you can teach it so that even those who have natural ability and work themselves into the ground fail, and that holds true for every subject.)