Natural sciences, Biology

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Summary

Natural sciences are the empirical sciences endeavoring to explain or predict nature's phenomena. (Other empirical sciences—cognitive sciences like artificial intelligence, behavioral sciences like psychology, and social sciences like economics—more directly focus on human and, in similitude, robotic functions and experiences.) There are five branches of natural science: astronomy, biology, chemistry, the Earth sciences and physics. Each domain collaborates experimental/observational and theoretical/mathematical divisions.

Details

This field encompasses a set of disciplines that examines phenomena related to living organisms. The scale of study can range from sub-component biophysics up to complex ecologies. Biology is concerned with the characteristics, classification and behaviors of organisms, as well as how species were formed and their interactions with each other and the environment.

The biological fields of botany, zoology, and medicine date back to early periods of civilization, while microbiology was introduced in the 17th century with the invention of the microscope. However, it was not until the 19th century that biology became a unified science. Once scientists discovered commonalities between all living things, it was decided they were best studied as a whole.

Some key developments in biology were the discovery of genetics; Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection; the germ theory of disease and the application of the techniques of chemistry and physics at the level of the cell or organic molecule.

Modern biology is divided into subdisciplines by the type of organism and by the scale being studied. Molecular biology is the study of the fundamental chemistry of life, while cellular biology is the examination of the cell; the basic building block of all life. At a higher level, physiology looks at the internal structure of organism, while ecology looks at how various organisms interrelate.

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External Links

  • WikipediaThe History of Recent Science and TechnologyNatural SciencesNatural SciencesNatural SciencesReviews of Books About Natural ScienceScientific Grant Awards DatabaseNatural Sciences Tripos

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