What is Biology?
Biology, quite simply put, is the science and study of life and living organisms. Biology is commonly referred to as the “science of life”. The term biology comes from the Greek words “bios” meaning life, and “–logia” the study of. Biology is a natural science that deals with the living world; how it is structured, how it functions and what these functions are, how it develops, how living things came into existence, and how they react to one another and with their environment.
Biology is one of the largest branches of science. Under biology are the main sub-classifications that deal with the major classes of living beings:
- Zoology – the study of animal life;
- Botany – the study of plant life; and
- Microbiology – the study of microorganisms.
There are many other subgroups under these categories. Some of the more commonly known subcategories include: molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics.
Biology is based on principles known as the five unifying principles of biology:
The Cell Theory: Living things are composed the basic unit of life, the cell; new cells are formed from old cells through cell division
Evolution: Through the principles of natural selection and genetic drift, change in traits and characteristics of a population occur from one generation to another
Gene Theory: The gene theory states that a living being’s traits are encoded in DNA, inside genes that can be passed down and inherited via gene transmission
Homeostasis: The principle that all living beings can maintain/adapt the functions of its internal environment despite changes in its external environment
Energy Principle: All living beings need energy to survive, and they have the ability to use up as well as transform energy