How to Build a Habitable Planet

Course Description

We live on the only inhabited planet we've discovered so far. Through modern science, we have learned much about what makes a planet habitable and how one might be created. It was not a trivial undertaking!  This course explores:

    1. The origin of the atoms from which planets and life are made,
    2. The origin and structure of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, and Earth;
    3. The origin and function of Earth's atmosphere, oceans, and continents; and
    4. How has Earth maintained habitability through time. In addition, the course will strengthen your ability to form and defend interpretations based on observations.  
Contents & Topics  

Unit 1: Science as a process for discovering truths: Observation and Interpretation
Unit 2: The raw materials-Where did they come from?
Unit 3. Origin of H and He; Constructing a Habitable Earth.
Unit 4: The Earth's Habitability
Unit 5: How the Earth became Habitable for us  

Goals and Objectives

This course should enable you to:

    1. Articulate the relationship between observation and interpretation; form and defend interpretations based on observations.
    2. Describe their understanding and appreciation of the strengths and limitations of science as a method for discovering truth.
    3. Express the relationship between discovered and revealed truth; apply both sources of truth to address questions that lie at the science-religion interface.
    4. Explain the principles that govern the formation, development, and maintenance of habitable worlds.
    5. Demonstrate a sense of curiosity and awe about the Creation.   
Course Requirements  
  • Daily Preparation
  • Exams
  • Class Projects
  • Ponder/Prove Activities
  • Other Activities  
Course Prerequisites
  • Completion of FDSCI101 with a D- or higher
  • Completion of FDENG101 with a D- or higher
  • Completion of FDMAT108 with a D- or higher
Semesters Taught

Winter, Spring, Fall

Course Lead

Brian Tonks
Brian Tonks