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Self-study science programs for IDists, organic chemistry

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At the school where I received my Master of Science degree in Applied Physics, the basic undergraduate cost was $61,000 per year. Thankfully I wasn’t an undergrad there! I remember during commencement, I thought to myself as each undergrad crossed the stage to receive their diploma, “another quarter million dollars for academia.”

I could go back and take formal classes to learn more science, but at this point it would only be for indulging in the joys of science, not advancing my occupation in financial management. To me, science is the study of God’s work. If I thought the universe and life were accidents, the product of a random number generator, I’d probably not be interested in studying it any more than studying the outputs of a random number generator.

Because of the internet, one can venture into learning first before making a financial commitment. Two semesters of an organic chem course at a decent chemistry school like James Madison University (JMU) might cost $8,000. If I were to go on to learn physical chemistry, biochemistry, and a little molecular biology…you get the picture.

JMU, though a liberal arts school, has a brutal undergrad chemistry program. Even students that had perfect SAT scores struggled through that program. So how can one make better informed decisions about going back and taking classes? Well, thanks to free online learning, one can learn science with out paying tuition and one can drop out of the program without losing anything or having bad grades on one’s transcript.

For those already with degrees, do you really need to shell out the expense and constraints on your schedule of a formal class? If one is undecided, an alternative is to start studying things online, and then if you think you can hack it in an academic environment, you can always decide later to take it for real. If you do, hopefully you can breeze through the class. The major down side, however, is one does not get lab learning through internet learning.

Because so much of understanding ID involves chemistry, I decided I had to buckle down and learn more chemistry. The landmark ID chemistry book was Mystery of Life’s Origin. It was critically acclaimed by University Chemistry professors around the country involved in Origin of Life research. As I’ve read the book, I decided it is time for IDists to pool their talent and publish updated material. But first, I just wanted to understand the book more clearly.

If I decide to go back and take formal classes, then I think I’ll probably get more out of the classes by self-study prior to taking them. If I find I can’t hack organic chemistry, then I’ve saved myself the cost of tuition.

So here is my cobbled organic chemistry self-study program. For homework and solved solutions I chose:

MIT Open courseware, Organic Chemistry

For a “textbook” I chose:
Virtual Chemistry Online

An excellent general chemistry resource is:
General Chemistry Online

There are some lectures at UC Irvine, but the audio is horrible!
UC Irvine video lectures

29 Replies to “Self-study science programs for IDists, organic chemistry

  1. 1
    Barb says:

    Also look into Coursera (www.coursera.org), which has many free online courses from various universities. I’m currently taking two courses there in population health.

  2. 2
    AVS says:

    Well at least you guys are trying to self-educate…or is it self-medicate?
    Either way it can’t hurt. maybe you guys will learn something!

  3. 3
    scordova says:

    AVS,

    Do you know organic chem, bio chem, molecular bio? You’re more than welcome to comment on these topics.

  4. 4
    AVS says:

    Yes, actually I am pretty well versed on these topics, with emphasis on biochem and molecular cell biology.
    I’ve made numerous comments involving these topics, but it would seem no one here is familiar with them.

  5. 5
    Barb says:

    I’m pretty sure we’ve asked AVS for his credentials before and like the coward he really is, he refuses to provide them. Bachelor’s? Master’s? PhD program? Name of university?

  6. 6
    TSErik says:

    Yes, actually I am pretty well versed on these topics, with emphasis on biochem and molecular cell biology.

    No. You aren’t.

  7. 7
    AVS says:

    I love how sure you guys are of yourselves. You don’t know the first thing about me, and yet you insist on telling me who and what I am.

    I will not reveal personal information on the internet (I’m not an idiot) especially not to a bunch of loonies like you. But I will tell you that I do research in molecular biology and will hopefully have a PhD within the next five years time. I’ve already stated this here.

    Erik, have I not demonstrated already that I know what I am talking about? Perhaps you would like to talk with me about one of these topics? Be careful what you wish for though.

  8. 8
    Barb says:

    The name of the university you’re attending is not personal information. Neither is the level of education you’ve received.

  9. 9
    TSErik says:

    Erik, have I not demonstrated already that I know what I am talking about? Perhaps you would like to talk with me about one of these topics? Be careful what you wish for though.

    No. You haven’t. You try to bluff your way out and simply assert over and over. We are sure because we read your nonsense. You often cannot grasp the most basic of concepts, post rebuttals that don’t elucidate the main discussion, terminology bluff, and when you are called on it you say, “oh no, I didn’t mean that!”

    After your rampant equivocation, you hurl insults so that all sane individuals ignore you, and like the standard Reddit, fool you are, you take the silence as capitulation.

    You couldn’t grasp the basic concept of compensation that I pointed out a while back with your oft used “biology” term. Your answer as to what you THOUGHT I was saying, was simply downright embarrassing.

    I’ve looked up your info. You aren’t as anonymous as you think. You’re a sad keyboard warrior, right “GoAVS!”?

  10. 10
    AVS says:

    Uh oh, Erik you looked up my info? Really? Do tell.

    And the best you can bring up is that ridiculous “compensation” converstaion we had?
    What a joke.

    Let me know when you wan to talk about one of those topics!

  11. 11
    AVS says:

    Well apparently we have different ideas about personal information barb. But why don’t you just ask Erik here since he seems to know everything about me.

  12. 12
    Barb says:

    Your name is personal information, as is your date of birth, your address, your email, and your phone number. The name of a university with 10,000+ students is not personal.

  13. 13
    scordova says:

    TS Erik,

    Do you know chem? I really do need some chem and molecular bio help.

    Also can anyone explain how I can see an stretch of DNA with the exons highlighted and associated with a protein? Anyone with info how to do this, please help.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sal

  14. 14
    AVS says:

    Not when you represent the university on certain occasions, barbie. The reputation of a university is a very serious matter. Anyway, ask Erik. I give him permission to tell you the name of my university on here, if he knows it.

  15. 15
    Barb says:

    So? You represent the university. What does that have to do with anything? I’m certainly not planning on cyberstalking you? And what are you afraid of? That the university will find out you’re posting on UD instead of doing research?

    Claims require evidence. “I know more about biology than any of you” requires evidence to back it up [“I am a PhD candidate at Harvard,” for example].

  16. 16
    AVS says:

    Apparently Erik already has cyberstalked me. Why on earth would I give out any information that could narrow things down, to a group that has already admitted to doing that?

    Like I said, ask Erik. he apparently knows everything about me, so let’s here the name of my university Erik.
    Put your money where your mouth is. I’m calling you out.

  17. 17
    Barb says:

    Erik isn’t me. Erik doesn’t represent everyone who posts here. I would think a highly educated person such as yourself would be smart enough to figure that much out.

  18. 18
    AVS says:

    Oh ok, so I’ll just post some personal info about myself, and you’re going to guarantee that nobody but you reads it?

    Erik represents the slightly more educated end of the spectrum here at UD and he’s already admitted to cyberstalking me, I can only imagine what other psychotic lurkers you have here.

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    AVS @ 16

    Like I said, ask Erik. he apparently knows everything about me, so let’s here the name of my university Erik.

    Did you mean

    let’s hear ?

    What university is that where their graduates can’t even write simple English statements?

    Barb and TSErik, I wouldn’t send my grandchildren to that university, even if they offered 100% scholarship 😉

    BTW, English is not my first language.

  20. 20
    AVS says:

    Thanks Dio! I knew I made the right move when I hired you as editor in chief!

  21. 21
    TSErik says:

    I never claimed I knew every facet of your life, AVS. I claimed I knew some info. It was all just public information indexed by Google. I was simply looking up UD posts a while back for reference, and I saw accounts that you used on other sites (that appear to be currently deleted), since, well, you used virtually the same username for those sites as you do here.

    This was all public information, posted on public sites that you provided. But, now, you accuse me of cyberstalking? A crime? So if you aren’t mocking people with disabilities you accuse me of engaging in criminal activity?

    My original point was that with the PUBLIC information that is already out there, letting us know your level of education, and field of study, would only help your case.

    Hell. I’ve admitted to being in the final stretch of my BofS even if it casts me in a weaker light than others around here.

    I’m not even sure how to proceed from here. Another successful derail, I guess.

    TS Erik,

    Do you know chem? I really do need some chem and molecular bio help.

    Also can anyone explain how I can see an stretch of DNA with the exons highlighted and associated with a protein? Anyone with info how to do this, please help.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sal

    I know some, Sal. I’ve completed up through organic chemistry. I’ll help wherever I can. Much beyond that and I need to retreat to my books in order to be very useful.

  22. 22
    Eric Anderson says:

    Thanks, Sal. Good recommendations. Definitely lots of wonderful material available online.

    Commented on an upcoming Coursera course just the other day:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ne-course/

  23. 23
    AVS says:

    That was your pal barb that started the “cyberstalking” talk.
    So anyways, what have you learned about me, as you claim? That I’ve had the same conversations here, on other websites?
    That’s it? Did you get any reliable information about anything important?

    That’s quite a far cry from “you’re not as anonymous as you think.”

    Did you really think I would be dumb enough to put any type of personal information online when people like you and your friends here are running around?

  24. 24
    Paul Giem says:

    Sal,

    If you get stuck and need some help, I might be able to help. One of my undergraduate majors was in chemistry, I took graduate biochemistry in medical school (and was over 2 1/2 standard deviations above the mean in the biochemistry part of National Boards part I), and I recently tutored one of my children in organic chemistry, so I have had my knowledge refreshed.

    If you want my private e-mail, it is on my profile here, or go to my website and my public e-mail is available there, and I can send you my private e-mail (which I read a little more often).

  25. 25
    scordova says:

    One of my undergraduate majors was in chemistry, I took graduate biochemistry in medical school (and was over 2 1/2 standard deviations above the mean in the biochemistry part of National Boards part I), and I recently tutored one of my children in organic chemistry, so I have had my knowledge refreshed.

    I suspected you had a background in chemistry when you reviewed some of my prior articles. I’m thinking at this point, I will have to study chem formally (organic, physical, biochem, molecular bio), but for now I have to learn things in spurts and on my own.

    This will not be an easy road, but I feel handicapped defending certain ID arguments without feeling comfortable with chemistry. After all, two of the major ID works, Mystery of Life’s Origin and Darwin’s Black Box were works that involved lots of chemistry!

    I will probably ask your assistance in reviewing some of the things I write like that homochirality blog you reviewed, and which I will have to re-write eventually.

    Some of my interaction with you over the net inspired me to reconsider studying chemistry. You set a wonderful example for all of us with your excellent in understanding so many things. UD is so blessed to have you visit from time to time.

  26. 26
    AVS says:

    Well you are sadly mistaken Mungy. You don’t know anything about me. I come here to blow off steam and enjoy the anonymity. Not to mention correcting some of you and your friend’s grievous misconceptions about biology and science in general.
    I get to act like a complete ass here without any repercussions and it’s nice because I can’t do that in the real world.
    I’m not anything like the person I portray here, and in fact I could be anybody, you nextdoor neighbor maybe. You’ll never know.
    =)

  27. 27
    AVS says:

    Don’t we all Mungy?

  28. 28
    AVS says:

    Oh don’t worry I do not pose any threat to UD. Nothing does.
    The minds here cling so closely to their beliefs that no amount of evidence could persuade them otherwise.
    It’s what makes you guys so special! =)

  29. 29

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