The Study of Life: Hypotheses, Experiments and Significance

Why am I in AP Biology? Do I plan to major in biology…no. Do I need more homework in addition to other classes, athletics and other activities…no. The answer to these questions is no because the questions are very upfront, destination based questions. But like in the study of biology, life is not about the destination; it’s about the journey. You can know that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, but if you can’t apply that fact to function and apply it to life, it has much less significance. In saying this, I propose three words that have a large say in our AP Biology class and also life: hypothesis, experimentation and significance. These words heavily apply to both the study of life (physical) and the study of life (abstract).

To have a hypothesis is a loaded statement. This indicates you have priorly pondered the solution to a problem and is a result of time, education, knowledge and wisdom. This important step, if skipped in an experiment in class would brush off applying what you know beforehand. This elimination of biological concepts would hinder learning of new ones. You cannot build a house without a foundation, you can’t find out whether photosynthesis is occurring or not, and you’ll never advance in life if you can’t display your efficiency in what you presently do. Hypotheses are key to life and are key to moving onward in class whether it be a lab, a test, notes or deciding how to ask for more time on an assignment. Find what you believe to be true and get ready to test it.

You will never know what is right if you don’t know what is wrong. You’ll never know what works better if you don’t find out what works worst. Experimentation, when built off a hypothesis, lets you see how that hypothesis applies to the real world. You can think what you know and practice is right, but nothing is perfect. If something isn’t blatantly wrong and has some validity and truth to it, it has room for improvement that can only be discovered by putting it through the fire of experimentation to be refined. You wouldn’t know that germinated plant seeds under go cellular respiration more readily than non-germinated plant seeds, and you won’t know what makes other’s lives the easiest if you don’t see failure of one thing and success of another. Failure is necessary for success, and experimentation in the study of life produces both failure and success. We must learn from the failure and seek out the success, thus building upon successes, blocks to a house that had to be made correctly, not incorrectly; experimentation displaying the difference.

Once understanding what to test, after finding the correct, expelling the wrong, significance is produced. Only then, will significance have significance. Much like saying cell membranes are semipermeable, we only recognize this incredible quality through hypothesizing that cells need to take in and expel materials, then seeing if it is true. Only then will we see the vital significance of cells semipermeable qualities. It is the same as in the study of life (only not biology this time), a destination of any sorts receives significance because of the journey to get there. Much like the study of life, the study of life requires education and prediction, refinement, and meaningful purpose. In other words, hypothesizing, experimentation, and significance.

About Mr. Mohn

Biology Teacher

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