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The Joy of Science Review by Stephanie D. ScarboroughThe Teaching Company
4151 Lafayette Center Drive, Suite 100
Chantilly, VA 20151-1232
The professor for The Joy of Science, Robert M. Hazen of George Mason University and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, is also a well-renowned author. He truly has an impressive resume of training, discovery, and teaching.
The Joy of Science is presented in five parts. Each part includes two DVDs, with 12 lectures/30 minutes per lecture, and a course guidebook. These guidebooks contain the lecture number and title with a statement of the principle, the scope, an outline, essential readings, supplemental readings, and questions to consider. This helps to break down the lectures into consumable bites. Lecture transcripts are also available. All items are designed to help the learners succeed in the "adventure of learning."
The scope of The Joy of Science is all-encompassing.
|The Nature of Science||Edwin Hubble and the Discovery of Galaxies|
|The Scientific Method||The Big Bang|
|The Ordered Universe||The Ultimate Structure of Matter|
|Celestial and Terrestrial Mechanics||The Nebular Hypothesis|
|Newton's Laws of Motion||The Solar System|
|Universal Gravitation||The Earth as a Planet|
|The Nature of Energy||The Dynamic Earth|
|The First Law of Thermodynamics||The Plate Tectonics Revolution|
|The Second Law of Thermodynamics||Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Plate Motions Today|
|Magnetism and Static Electricity||The Atmospheric Cycle|
|Electricity||The Rock Cycle|
|Electromagnetism||What Is Life?|
|The Electromagnetic Spectrum, Part I||Strategies of Life|
|The Electromagnetic Spectrum, Part II||Life's Molecular Building Blocks|
|Atoms||Cells-The Chemical Factories of Life|
|The Bohr Atom||Gregor Mendel, Founder of Genetics|
|The Quantum World||The Discovery of DNA|
|The Periodic Table of the Elements||The Genetic Code|
|Introduction to Chemistry||Reading the Genetic Code|
|The Chemistry of Carbon||Genetic Engineering|
|States of Matter and Changes of State||Cancer and Other Genetic Diseases|
|Phase Transformations and Chemical Reactions||The Chemical Evolution of Life|
|Properties of Materials||Biological Evolution-A Unifying Theme of Biology|
|Semiconductors and Modern Microelectronics||The Fact of Evolution-The Fossil Record|
|Isotopes and Radioactivity||Charles Darwin and the Theory of Natural Selection|
|Nuclear Fission and Fusion Reactions||Ecosystems and the Law of Unintended Consequences|
|Astronomy||The Ozone Hole, Acid Rain, and the Greenhouse Effect|
|The Life Cycle of Stars||Science, the Endless Frontier|
The Joy of Science approaches science from an interdisciplinary method. Rather than fragmenting science, it takes a more natural, integrated style. Each scientific area is dependent on other branches of science, making this approach refreshing and real.
These DVDs are of professional grade with regard to sound and visual quality. One slight annoyance comes from the professor's tendency not to look at the camera. He appears to be looking closely at a teleprompter or something else in the room.
Fortunately for copious note takers such as myself, definitions and names appear as captions, thus increasing information intake for visual learners. However, you do not have to write everything down since it closely aligns with the lecture transcripts. The slight differences come from the fact that the lecture notes are based on the audio presentation of this course rather than the video presentation.
Despite the many strengths of this program, one serious weakness is the presentation of evolution theories as scientific fact. The attack on religious faith and the belief in God's creation account according to Genesis is of great concern. While this review is not the place to debate such beliefs, a purchaser needs to be aware of this professor's disregard for scientific creationism and Biblical accounts.
At first, I thought it would be possible to skip the few sections that are devoted to evolution theories. However, one reason this would be difficult is that numerous scientific facts are interpreted through the porthole of evolutionary theory, and these are interlaced throughout the program. If you do choose to use this program, probably the best approach is for you, the learner, to be fully aware of the scientific creationism approach, which manages the scientific facts in light of Scripture.