What is Biology?

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Biology is a body of knowledge which deals with all living things, including humans. The word biology comes from two the Greek words—bios, which means life, and logos, which means word. This term was coined by two people named Lamarck and Treviranus some 160 years ago. Biology is divided into two major branches—botany and zoology. Botany is the study of plants, while zoology is the study of animals.

History of Biology

The history of biology dates back some four hundred years ago before Christ (BC) to the country of Greece. Hippocrates, the man considered to be the “Father of Medicine” stated the principle of medical science that is still being observed and followed up to our modern times.

Great People Behind Biology

Aristotle – one of the greatest men in history who lived three hundred years before the coming of Christ. His involvement in biology was influenced by Alexander the Great who gave him money to finance the writing of many books in biology. He was commissioned to hire thousands of people to observe and collect specimens of animal life in Asia and in Greece. Aristotle then studied their observations and wrote about them.

In the Renaissance period, 15th and 16th centuries, interest in biology blossomed. In 1554, Vesalius published his great book about the internal structure of the human body. In 1628, Harvey’s masterpiece On the Movement of the Heart and Blood in Animals came out. Bauhin, in 1623, described more than 5,000 plants.

Anton Van Leeuwenhoek – another top contributor in the biological sciences. He made his own microscope where he drew and described bacteria that he saw through it.

Carolus Linnaeus – a Swedish biologist who made the classification of living organisms in the year 1735. He created the binomial system of nomenclature.

Schleiden and Schwann – two German botanist, declared in 1839 that all living things are made up of cells.

Gregor Mendel – an Australian monk who discovered how living things inherit their characteristics. He found it by means of studying a pea plant.

Louie Pasteur – a French scientist born in 1822. He made a very important discovery regarding germs. He concluded that diseases are caused by them and his findings saved millions of lives.

Louis Agassiz – a Swiss naturalist who believed that animals should be studied in their natural surroundings. He was able to learn this observation as a young boy in Switzerland while watching their reactions and behaviors.

Asa Gray – an American born in 1810 who wrote the Manual of Botany which is being used until today. He was considered the leading authority in Botany during his time.

John James Audubon andAlexander Wilson – these two Americans met in 1820; Audubon was a painter who painted birds, while Wilson was the first American student of birds. Their association enriched American’s knowledge of the birds in their country.

T. H. Morgan – an American Nobel Prize winner who founded that genes have a definite place on chromosomes.

Today, there are many great scientists—all who are studying and discovering the unknown in the miracle of the science of life.


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