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Invitation to Biology

Chapter 1

1.1 Impacts/Issues:
The Secret Life of Earth
The systematic study of life

We have encountered only a fraction of the

organisms that live on Earth
Scientists constantly discover new species
Extinction rates are accelerating

1.2 Lifes Levels of Organization

The building blocks (atoms) that make up all

living things are the same ones that make up all
nonliving things

The unique properties of life emerge as certain

kinds of molecules become organized into cells

Lifes Levels of Organization

Fundamental building block of all matter

An association of two or more atoms

Smallest unit of life

An individual; consists of one or more cells

Lifes Levels of Organization

Group of individuals of a species in a given area

All populations of all species in a given area

A community interacting with its environment

All regions of Earth that hold life

Nature and Life

Everything in the universe, except what humans
have manufactured

Emergent property
A characteristic of a system that does not appear
in any of a systems component parts

Levels of Organization in Nature

1.3 Overview of Lifes Unity

All living things have similar characteristics

Require energy and nutrients
Sense and respond to change
Reproduce with the help of DNA

Energy Sustains Lifes Organization

One-way flow of energy through the biosphere
and cycling of nutrients among organisms
sustain lifes organization
The capacity to do work

Substance that is necessary for survival, but that
an organism cant make for itself

Organisms and Energy Sources

Organisms that make their own food using energy
and simple raw materials from the environment
Example: plants

Organisms that get energy and carbon by feeding
on tissues, wastes, or remains of other organisms
Example: animals

Organisms Sense and Respond to Change

Organisms sense and respond to change to keep
conditions in their internal environment within a
range that favors cell survival (homeostasis)
Set of processes by which an organism keeps its
internal conditions within tolerable ranges

Molecule or structure that responds to a stimulus

Organisms Grow, Develop and Reproduce

Organisms grow, develop, and reproduce based
on information encoded in DNA, which they
inherit from their parents
Increase in size, volume, and number of cells in
multicelled species

Multistep process by which the first cell of a new
individual becomes a multicelled adult

Organisms Grow, Develop and Reproduce

Process by which parents produce offspring

Transmission of DNA from parents to offspring

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid)

Molecule that carries hereditary information about

1.4 Introduction to Lifes Diversity

The millions of species on Earth vary greatly in
details of body form and function
Each species is given a unique two-part name
that includes genus and species names
A type of organism

Group of species that share a unique set of traits

Classification Systems
Classification systems group species according
to traits and organize information about species
One system sorts all organisms into one of three
domains: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya
The eukaryotes include plants, protists, fungi
and animals

Single celled organisms in which DNA is not
contained in a nucleus

A member of the prokaryotic domain Bacteria

A member of the prokaryotic domain Archaea

Organisms whose cells typically have a nucleus

Eukaryotic consumer that obtains nutrients by
digestion and absorption outside the body

Eukaryotes that are not plants, animals, or fungi


Typically a multicelled, photosynthetic producer

Multicelled consumer that develops through a
series of embryonic stages and moves about
during all or part of the life cycle

1.5 The Nature of Scientific Inquiry

Critical thinking
Mental process of judging the quality of information
before deciding whether or not to accept it

The Scope and Limits of Science

Science is a way of looking at the natural world
which helps us to communicate our experiences
without bias by focusing only on testable ideas
about observable phenomena
Science does not address the supernatural

The systemic study of nature

1.6 How Science Works

Researchers make and test potentially falsifiable
predictions about how the natural world works
Generally, scientific inquiry involves forming a
hypothesis (testable assumption) about an
observation then making and testing predictions
based on the hypothesis
A hypothesis that is not consistent with the results
of scientific tests is modified or discarded

Common Research Practices

1. Observe some aspect of nature

2. Frame a question about your observation
3. Propose a hypothesis (a testable explanation
of the observation)

Common Research Practices

4. Make a prediction a statement based on a

hypothesis, about some condition that should
exist if the hypothesis is not wrong

5. Test the accuracy of the prediction by

experiments or gathering information (tests may
be performed on a model)

Common Research Practices

6. Assess the results of the tests (data) to see if

they support or disprove the hypothesis
7. Conclusions: Report all steps of your work and
conclusions to the scientific community

A Scientific Theory

Scientific theory
A hypothesis that has not been disproven after
many years of rigorous testing
Useful for making predictions about other

Laws of Nature

Law of nature
Generalization that describes a consistent and
universal natural phenomenon for which we do
not yet have a complete scientific information
Example: gravity

Examples of Scientific Theories

1.7 The Power of Experiments

Natural processes are often influenced by many

interacting variables
A characteristic or event that differs among

The Power of Experiments

Experiments simplify interpretations of complex

biological systems by focusing on the effect of
one variable at a time

A test to support or falsify a prediction

Experimental and Control Groups

Experimental group
A group of objects or individuals that display or
are exposed to a variable under investigation

Control group
A group of objects or individuals that is identical
to an experimental group except for one variable

Olestra causes intestinal cramps.
People who eat potato chips made with Olestra will be more
likely to get intestinal cramps than those who eat potato
chips made without Olestra


Control Group
Eats regular
potato chips

Experimental Group
Eats Olestra
potato chips


93 of 529 people
get cramps later

89 of 563 people get

cramps later

Percentages are about equal. People who eat potato chips
made with Olestra are just as likely to get intestinal cramps
as those who eat potato chips made without Olestra.
These results do not support the hypothesis.

Stepped Art
Fig. 1-10, p. 14

Example: Butterflies and Birds

Why does a peacock butterfly flick its wings?

Two hypotheses
Exposing wing spots scares off predators
Wing sounds scare off predators

Two predictions
Individuals without spots are eaten more often
Individuals without sounds are eaten more often

Experiments and Results

Four groups of butterflies were exposed to
predators (birds)

Butterflies without spots

Butterflies without sounds
Butterflies without spots or sounds
Control group

Test results support both original hypotheses

Results: Peacock Butterfly Experiment

Sampling Error

Biology researchers experiment on subsets of a

group, which may result in sampling error
Sampling error
Difference between results derived from testing
an entire group of events or individuals, and
results derived from testing a subset of the group

Sampling Error


Researchers try to design experiments carefully

in order to minimize sampling error
Statistically significant
Refers to a result that is statistically unlikely to
have occurred by chance