What is Biology and what is life?
Biology is the study of life. Life exists in many forms. The common characteristics for life is that all lives are well organized, they need to use energy, they grow and they reproduce themselves, all lives can respond to environmental stimuli and maintain relatively stable internal environment (homeostasis).
Branches of Biology
There are many subdivisions in biology. For example, if classified by the subject of the study, there are anatomy, botany (or plant sciences), marine biology, anthropology, zoology and microbiology. If classified by the functional studies, there are molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, genetics, physiology, cell biology, developmental biology and ecology. To understand how life evolves and changes over the time, there is evolutionary biology. All these branches are aimed to understand life, and the purpose is to better serve our human health and living conditions. Medical science is overly based on biology studies.
Classification of living things
Living things vary tremendously on size, shape, and many other aspects. Carolus Linnaeus used comparative anatomy to group living things according to shared physical characteristics. The smallest group is species, several species share certain characteristics and form genus, certain genus are then grouped into family, order, class, phylum or division, and kingdom. There are five kindoms, monera, protista, fungus, animalia and plantae.
Basic Theories of Biology
There are four major theories of biology which form the base of modern biology. These are cell theory, gene theory, homeostasis and theory of evolution. Cell theory was developed by three German scientists: Shleiden, Schwann and Virchow. Cells are the building unit for living things and all cells are derived from previously existed cells. Gene theory is based on Watson and Crick’s DNA double helix model, DNA is the genetic material. Homeostasis provides a theory of auto-regulation of life, and theory of evolution provides explanation of how modern live forms are evolved over the time.
A hypothesis is an educated guess (prediction) and a theory can become a law if enough evidence is found. There are common aspects of scientific experimentation like observations, questions, hypothesis formation, experimentation, trend recognition, conclusion formation, communication and validation of results and model formation.
How to study Biology
Memorize basic information to save time later. Learn vocabulary quickly for understanding when it is used later. Take each problem in steps. Connect each thing you learn with previous concepts.