Using SIMLIFE for intro biology?

Ron Beloin R.Beloin at cornell.edu
Wed Feb 2 22:13:10 EST 1994


In article <1994Feb1.153003.23438 at gossip.urich.edu> Gary Radice,
radice at urvax.urich.edu writes:
> Has anyone used SIMLIFE for exercises in introductory or upper level college
> biology classes? I've not seen the program, and would like to know whether it
> is amenable for use in a classroom or is more like an arcade game.
> 
My problem with SimLife (and also SimEarth) is that the model relationships and
assumptions are hidden and frequently wrong.
For exmaple, SimLife told me that my lichens were all the same sex and
therefore
could not reproduce, and a horse underwent a single mutation and now could fly.
I'm not sure if these programs are suitable at any level, but some may argue
that
for lower grades they give students an intro to systems level interactions and
complexity.
To be fair, I haven't taught with these, but I would look for something
realistic,
even if it was less engaging on the surface.
> Gary Radice
> Department of Biology
> University of Richmond
Ron Beloin  R.Beloin at cornell.edu
Boyce Thompson Inst. Ithaca, NY




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