Biology deals with the study of the many living organisms. Biology is the natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their physical and chemical structure, function, development and evolution. Modern biology is a vast field, composed of many branches. Despite the broad scope and benjamin cummings biology pdf complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field.
In general, biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation of new species. It is also understood that all organisms survive by consuming and transforming energy and by regulating their internal environment. It was used again in 1766 in a work entitled Philosophiae naturalis sive physicae: tomus III, continens geologian, biologian, phytologian generalis, by Michael Christoph Hanov, a disciple of Christian Wolff. The first German use, Biologie, was in a 1771 translation of Linnaeus’ work.
In 1797, Theodor Georg August Roose used the term in the preface of a book, Grundzüge der Lehre van der Lebenskraft. The objects of our research will be the different forms and manifestations of life, the conditions and laws under which these phenomena occur, and the causes through which they have been effected. Although modern biology is a relatively recent development, sciences related to and included within it have been studied since ancient times.
Natural philosophy was studied as early as the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indian subcontinent, and China. However, the origins of modern biology and its approach to the study of nature are most often traced back to ancient Greece. Especially important are his History of Animals and other works where he showed naturalist leanings, and later more empirical works that focused on biological causation and the diversity of life. Aristotle’s successor at the Lyceum, Theophrastus, wrote a series of books on botany that survived as the most important contribution of antiquity to the plant sciences, even into the Middle Ages.
Medicine was especially well studied by Islamic scholars working in Greek philosopher traditions, while natural history drew heavily on Aristotelian thought, especially in upholding a fixed hierarchy of life. Biology began to quickly develop and grow with Anton van Leeuwenhoek’s dramatic improvement of the microscope.
It was then that scholars discovered spermatozoa, bacteria, infusoria and the diversity of microscopic life. Investigations by Jan Swammerdam led to new interest in entomology and helped to develop the basic techniques of microscopic dissection and staining. Advances in microscopy also had a profound impact on biological thinking.
In the early 19th century, a number of biologists pointed to the central importance of the cell. Thanks to the work of Robert Remak and Rudolf Virchow, however, by the 1860s most biologists accepted all three tenets of what came to be known as cell theory.