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1.1 How to Define Life
  • There are various levels of biological organization. At each higher level properties emerge that cannot be explained by the sum of the parts.
  • Although life is quite diverse, it can be defined by certain common characteristics.
  • All living things have characteristics in common because they are descended from a common ancestor; but they are diverse because they are adapted to different environments.
  1. What are the characteristics that can be used to distinguish living things from nonliving things?
  2. Briefly explain how all life forms share certain characteristics and, at the same time, are also very diverse in design and function.
Essential Study Partner Summaries of major points
  1. Living things are organized
  2. Living things acquire materials and energy
  3. Living things respond
  4. Living things reproduce and develop
  5. Living things have adaptations

Labeling Exercises
1.2 How the Biosphere is Organized
  • The biosphere is made up of ecosystems where living things interact with each other and the physical environment.
  • Coral reefs and tropical rain forest, which are noted for their diversity, are endangered due to human activities.
  • Biologists are concerned about the current rate of extinctions and believe that we should take all possible steps to preserve biodiversity.
  1. ________ are cycled through an ecosystem from organisms to the environment and back again, while ________ comes from outside the ecosystem, moves through levels of organisms, and is eventually lost from the system.
  2. Define: ecosystem.
Essential Study Partner
Summaries of major points
  1. Populations
  2. Tropical rainforest, a terrestrial Ecosystem
  3. The human population

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1.3 How Living Things are Classified
  • Living things are classified into categories according to their evolutionary relationships.
  1. What is taxonomy?
  2. List the categories used to classify organisms.
  3. What are the three Domains into which all life can be categorized and which of the three contains the most structurally complex organisms?
Essential Study Partner
Summaries of major points
  1. Taxonomy and scientific names
  2. Five kingdom and three domain systems
Labeling Exercises Art Review General Biology Weblinks
1.4 The Process of Science
  • The scientific process is a way to gather information and to come to conclusions about the natural world.
  • Various conclusions pertaining to the same area of interest are sometimes used to arrive at a theory, a general concept about the natural world.
  1. What are the steps of the scientific method?
  2. What is a hypothesis?
  3. What is a control and why is it an important component of an experiment?
Summaries of major points
  1. Science is one way humans understand the natural world
  2. A laboratory investigation
  3. A field investigation
  4. An observational investigation
  5. The scientific method
  6. Scientific theories in Biology
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