Chapter 1 Themes in the Study of Life

Chapter 1 Themes in - Ch 1 Themes in the Study of Life Evolution the process of change that has transformed life on Earth from its earliest

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Ch. 1: Themes in the Study of Life Evolution – the process of change that has transformed life on Earth from its earliest beginnings to the diversity of organisms living today. It is the fundamental organizing principle of biology. Biology – the scientific study of life Some properties of life: Order, regulation, energy processing, growth and development, reproduction, response to the environment evolutionary adaptation. Life is recognized as what living things do. Seven Unifying Themes Evolution is also described as the idea about organisms living on Earth today who are modified descendants of common ancestors. It accounts for heritable changes. 1. New properties emerge at each level in the biological hierarchy. Emergent Properties – novel properties that emerge at each step; properties that are not present at the preceding level. Emergent properties are due to the arrangement and interactions of parts as complexity increases. Our thoughts and memories are emergent properties of a complex network of nerve cells. Compared to a box of bicycle parts and a working bicycle The Powers and Limitations of Reductionism – We cannot fully explain a higher level of order by breaking it down into parts. Reductionism is the reduction of complex systems to simpler components that are more manageable to study. Levels of Biological Organization a) The Biosphere Consists of all the environments on Earth that are inhabited by life. He biosphere includes most regions of land, most bodies of water, and the atmosphere to an altitude of several kilometers b) Ecosystems Deciduous forests (trees that lose their leaves in one season and grow new ones in another) are an example. Grasslands, deserts, and the ocean’s coral reefs are other types of ecosystems. Ecosystems consists of all the living things in a particular area. This includes nonliving components such as soil, water, atmospheric gases, and light. c) Communities
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The entire array of organisms inhabiting a particular ecosystem is called a biological community. Includes trees, other plants, a diversity of animals, mushrooms and other fungi, diverse microorganisms such as bacteria. Each life form is a called species. d) Populations A population consists of all the individuals of a species living within the bounds of a specified area. A community is a set of populations that inhabit a particular area. e) Organisms Individual living things are called organisms. f) Organs and Organ Systems A maple leaf is an example of an organ, which is a body part consisting of two or more tissues. An organ carries out a particular function in the body. Eg., stems, roots, kidney, heart, brain. g) Tissues Requires a microscope for viewing. Each tissue has a cellular structure, and each kind of tissue is a group of similar cells. h)
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This note was uploaded on 12/20/2010 for the course BIO 35 taught by Professor Kim during the Spring '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Chapter 1 Themes in - Ch 1 Themes in the Study of Life Evolution the process of change that has transformed life on Earth from its earliest

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