What is biology?
Biology is the study of the makeup of living organisms, their purpose and the conditions which support life however the complexity of the science of life goes beyond what can be simply described in a few sentences. Biologists can specialize in over 50 subdivisions within this branch of scientific study. Learn more about the fields of biology here.
A biologist has an availability of options which they can choose to select as their area of expertise. Classification has always been a priority for scientists leading to the sub division of sciences in specific disciplines. Areas of specialization often cross paths with other similar disciplines which can be seen notably in the interdependence of botany and entomology.
When studying biology it only makes sense to start from the basics and move into the increasing complex organisms and systems that support life forms. The most basic element of this field of science starts by examining cellular biology which includes the components that make up a cell along with single celled organisms. Microbiology is one of the specializations which focuses on organisms that are only visible through microscopes.
Next it is important to understand how cells act together to make up larger systems. This is referred to as molecular biology. This area examines nucleic acids, DNA, RNA, genetic coding and organ systems which are essential in maintaining life. Nucleic acids power much of what is required in the growth and evolution process of living organisms. RNA transmits messages to other cells on what to produce for the body.
With the knowledge of how cells function it is possible to explore the structure of microorganisms which are the most ancient forms of life on Earth. In biological studies this area focuses on a variety of organisms which are classified in the taxonomies of protista, monera, fungi and viruses. Although microorganisms are not fairly complex by nature, this simplicty allows them to inhabit an almost limitless geographic diversity and can be found in almost any part of the Earth.
Plants are believe to have arose after microorganisms flourished on the planet. Plants are perhaps one of the most important types of organisms for humans as well as all animal life on Earth. Prior to the existence of plant life the atmosphere of our planet could not support the complex life we have today because the gases were highly toxic. Through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration this kingdom terraformed the Earth to pave the way for complex organisms.
The animalea kingdom is one of the largest in terms of organisms that are included in this taxon. Animal life is much more complex than that of microorganisms and plants however it is still largely reliant on these organisms to ensure survival. The cellular structure of animals are organized in a way that cells make up tissues to serve different functions across the organisms. In more complex forms of animals tissue is organized to make up organs and organ systems as well.
With the vast array of life forms on the planet it was an overwhelming task for biologists to make sense of how life originated on Earth. As in human nature biologists began classifying the basic elements of life and began classifying organisms in a complex tree of life. This is referred to as taxonomy and is broken down into kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species. Even today new species are being discovered as life continues to produce genetic variation.
Evolution is a theory credited to Charles Darwin, a Naturalist and Biologist, from his research published from his findings at the Galapagos Islands. Evolution in fact was a theory that was growing in popularity within the scientific community during his time and has been traced back to Greek philosophers. The documentation of taxonomy led to a greater insight into evolution as research is even being done into the classification of extinct species.