Introduction

In this , we describe the theory of evolution by natural selection as proposed by Charles Darwin in his book, first published in 1859, On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. We will look at natural selection as Darwin did, taking inheritance for granted, but ignoring the mechanisms underlying it.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in
Author(s): The Open University

Introduction

This course is the first in a series of three on Animals at the extreme. It is concerned with the integration of behaviour anatomy, physiology and biochemistry in diverse vertebrates that live in deserts. Once you have completed this course, you will be all the more able to appreciate the linked courses that follow, Animals at the extreme: hibernation and torpor and Animals at the extreme: the polar environment. These courses build on and develop some of the science you w
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

This course is an introduction to chemistry concepts, using water as the main illustration. Much of the course is devoted to exploring the smallest water particle - a water molecule - what it is and how it gives rise to the particular properties of water. The course also explains powers of ten and scientific notation, which are a convenient way of expressing both very large and very small numbers. It is a good introduction to science.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 s
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

In this course, we will examine the biology of the impressive meat eaters (e.g. wolves, lions and cheetahs), focusing in part on the biological 'equipment' - slashing and gripping teeth, for example - and on the less obvious behavioural characteristics that have contributed to the undoubted success of these fearsome hunters. Many of the meat eaters live and hunt in groups, which raises intriguing questions about the advantages of group living and the types of social behaviour between individu
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

The plant predators, or herbivores, are a varied group, but they share certain characteristics. Many of them are large; among the smallest is the chevrotain (or mouse-deer) at about two kilograms weight, and the elephant is the largest, with a typical bull male weighing around six tonnes. In this course we'll be looking in more detail at some of the problems and consequences of adopting a plant-eating way of life. Leaves are a much less nutritious food than most kinds of animal material, so l
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

Mammals come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes and yet all of the 4700 or so species have some characteristics in common. Indeed, it's the existence of these common features that justifies the inclusion of all such diverse types within the single taxonomic group (or class) called the Mammalia.

This is the first in a series of units about studying mammals. To get the most from these units, you will need access to a copy of The Life of Mammals (2002) by David Attenboroug
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

All of the animals described in this course are members of the mammalian order Rodentia. The rodents are widely regarded as amongst the most successful of all the mammalian groups. We will examine some features of rodent biology that contribute to their success, in particular their exploitation of a unique range of plant foods, especially seeds, wood and roots. While focusing on rodent feeding behaviour and reproduction, we will also be exploring some more general ideas concerning the origin
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

This course explores the topic of climate change and global warming. We will begin by exploring how the Earth's global mean surface temperature is determined through a global “balancing act” of the rate of energy that comes from the Sun and the rate at which the planet returns that energy into space. We will also discuss the natural greenhouse effect, and how this contributes to a balanced global climate. We will then go on to consider the human impact on the atmosphere, including the imp
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

This course will allow you to extend your visual modelling skills through the use of the sign graph diagramming technique. You will explore the dynamic relationship between social, economic and ecological factors whose interdependencies will determine the complex dynamics of the future as it unfolds. Your final task will be to identify points of intervention within this complex system in order to "nudge" the situation towards a more favourable outcome.

This OpenLearn course provides a s
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Understanding the environment: Thinking styles and models
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently dominating society, rooted in unlimited economic growth unperceptive to its social and environmental impact, cannot resolve the converging environmental, social and economic crises we now face. The primary aim of this freee course, Understanding the environment: Thinking styles and models, is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview.
Author(s): Creator not set

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

Introduction

This unit explores conceptual tools for assisting our thinking and deliberation on what matters. In Section 1, a reading by Ronald Moore introduces the notion of 'framing' nature, raising the perceived paradox of inevitably devaluing an aesthetically pleasing unframed entity. Three further readings, two from Fritjof Capra and one from Werner Ulrick (all of which are quite short and markedly reduced from their original courses), provide an understanding of systems thinking for explicitly frami
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Understanding the environment: Co-evolution
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently dominating society, rooted in unlimited economic growth unperceptive to its social and environmental impact, cannot resolve the converging environmental, social and economic crises we now face. The primary aim of this free course, Understanding the environment: Co-evolution, is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview.
Author(s): Creator not set

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

Understanding the environment: A systems approach
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently dominating society, rooted in unlimited economic growth unperceptive to its social and environmental impact, cannot resolve the converging environmental, social and economic crises we now face. Understanding the environment: A systems approach, is a free course whose primary aim is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview. It promotes the shi
Author(s): Creator not set

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

Understanding the environment: Complexity and chaos
There is increasing recognition that the reductionist mindset that is currently dominating society, rooted in unlimited economic growth unperceptive to its social and environmental impact, cannot resolve the converging environmental, social and economic crises we now face. The primary aim of this free course, Understanding the environment: Complexity and chaos, is to encourage the shift away from reductionist and human centred thinking towards a holistic and ecological worldview. Author(s): Creator not set

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

Introduction

This course focuses on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, and explore what you can do to lighten those emissions to help reduce the rate of climate change. You will assess your ‘carbon footprint’ and see what actions you and, if relevant, other household members could take to lighten that footprint. You will also better understand which actions are more and less effective, and the scope and limits of what individuals can do at the personal and household le
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

Introduction

Nature Matters considers environmental responsibility and what may matter from a caring perspective and an accountability perspective. A reading by Andrew Light reflects on four key debates in environmental ethics regarding the way in which nature is valued, and prompts the question on how such debates might inform environmental responsibility.

Section 2 examines the formal processes involved in developing accountability in the context of sustainable development. The persuasiveness of t
Author(s): The Open University

License information
Related content

Copyright © 2016 The Open University

OpenLearn Scotland
This unit is intended to be of interest not only to people living in Scotland but to anyone wishing to know more about Scottish society and culture. It brings together a collection of free educational resources relevant to Scotland. The resources within this unit cover a wide range of subject areas, including education, environment, technology, history, law, literature, politics, social care and social sciences.Author(s): Creator not set

License information
Related content

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see http://www.open.ac.uk/conditions terms and conditions), this content is made available under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2

Like Pale Gold - The Great Gatsby Part I: Crash Course English Literature #4
In which John Green explores F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the Jazz Age, The Great Gatsby. John introduces you to Nick Carraway, Jay Gatsby, Daisy and Tom B...Jay Gatsby, Daisy and Tom Buchanan, and the other characters in the novel, and tries to look beyond the surface story to figure out what this thing is ABOUT. Set in the 1920's against a conflicted backdrop of prohibition and excess, The Great Gatsby takes a close look at the American Dream as it existed in Fitzgerald's time. It turns out,
Author(s): No creator set

License information
Related content

Louis Armstrong - Mini-Biography
Watch a short biography video about Louis Armstrong, including his early life in New Orleans, his trumpet-playing, his hit songs "Hello, Dolly!" and "What a Wonderful World," and his life in Corona, Queens. (03:58)

Author(s): No creator set

License information
Related content

Marcus Garvey - Mini Biography
This is a short biography video about Marcus Garvey, the founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. (04:05)
Author(s): No creator set

License information
Related content