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Teresa Audesirk Gerald Audesirk Bruce E.


Biology: Life on Earth

Eighth Edition

Lecture for Chapter 1

An Introduction to Life on Earth

Copyright 2008 Pearson Prentice Hall, Inc.

Chapter 1 Outline
1.1 How Do Scientists Study Life? p. 2
1.2 Evolution: The Unifying Theory of Biology, p.
1.3 What Are the Characteristics of Living
Things? p. 10
1.4 How Do Scientists Categorize the Diversity
of Life? p. 14
1.5 How Does Knowledge of Biology Illuminate
Everyday Life? p. 15

Section 1.1 Outline

1.1 How Do Scientists Study Life?
Life Can Be Studied at Different Levels of
Scientific Principles Underlie All Scientific Inquiry
The Scientific Method is the Basis for Scientific
Communication Is Crucial to Science
Science is a Human Endeavor
Scientific Theories Have Been Thoroughly

Levels of Organization
The living and nonliving world is organized
at many levels

Levels of Organization
All matter is formed of elements
An atom is the smallest particle of an
element retaining the properties of an
Atoms combine to form molecules
Molecules provide the building blocks for
cells, the smallest unit of life

Levels of Organization
Some forms of life consist of single cells
In multicellular forms cells combine to form
Tissues combine to form organs, which
can be united as organ systems
Multicellular organisms are composed of
multiple organ systems

Levels of Organization
Organisms of the same type that are
capable of interbreeding are called a
A group of organisms of the same species
living in a given area is a population
Interacting populations make up a

Levels of Organization
A community and its nonliving
environment is an ecosystem
The entire surface of the Earth, including
living and nonliving components is the

Scientific Principles
Biology is a scientific discipline
All scientific inquiry is based on a small set
of assumptions or principles
Natural causality
Uniformity in space and time
Similar perception

Natural Causality

Historical approaches to studying life

1. Belief that some events happen through
supernatural forces (e.g. the actions of
Greek gods)
2. Belief that all events can be traced to natural
causes that we can comprehend (natural

Corollary: Evidence gathered from nature has not

been deliberately distorted to fool us

Natural Laws Apply Everywhere

Natural laws are uniform in space and
This principle is key understanding
biological events (e.g. evolution) that
occurred before humans recorded them

Natural Laws Apply Everywhere

Creationism is contrary to the principle of
uniformity-in-time and natural causality
Creationists hold that different species were
created one at a time by the direct
intervention of a supernatural being, contrary
to events we see happening today

Similar Perceptions
Assumption that all human beings
perceive natural events in fundamentally
the same way
Common perception allows us to accept
observations of other humans as reliable

Similar Perceptions
Common perception is usually not found in
appreciation of art, poetry, and music, nor
between cultures or religious beliefs
Value systems are subjective
Science requires objectively gathered data

The Scientific Method

Scientific inquiry is a rigorous method for
making observations
The Scientific Method for inquiry follows 4

The Scientific Method

1. Observation of a phenomenon
Subsequent development of questions

2. Formulation of a hypothesis
A supposition that explains an observed
phenomenon, leading to testable

The Scientific Method

3. Testing through experimentation
Additional controlled observations

4. Development of a conclusion
Evaluation of hypothesis in light of
experimental data

The Scientific Method

Scientific experimentation tests the
assertion that a single variable causes a
particular observation
The experiment must rule out the
influence of other possible variables on
the recorded observations

The Scientific Method

Controls are incorporated into
Controls keep untested variables constant
Scientific method is illustrated by
Francesco Redis experiment

Application to Everyday Problems

Assume you are late for an appointment

and hurriedly try to start your car
1. Observation: The car wont start

Application to Everyday Problems

2. Hypothesis: the battery is dead

Application to Everyday Problems

3. Experimental design: Replace your
battery with another and restart the car

Application to Everyday Problems

4. Premature conclusion:
The problem was a dead battery because
the car starts when replaced with a
different one

Application to Everyday Problems

5. Recognition of inadequate controls
Did you attempt to start the car more than
Was the battery cable on my original
battery loose?

Application to Everyday Problems

6. Establishing a control
a. Reinstall your old battery, check for tight
cables, now try to start the car
b. If car still fails to start on old battery, the
only variable in this investigation now is
the effectiveness of the battery

Application to Everyday Problems

7. Making a better conclusion, based
on controlled experiments
Your battery was probably dead

Limitations of the Scientific Method

Can never be sure all untested variables
are controlled
Conclusions based on the experimental
data must remain tentative

Limitations of the Scientific Method

Results of experimentation must be
communicated thoroughly and accurately
to other scientists for repetition
Repetition by other scientists add
verification that findings can be used as
the basis for further studies

Science Is a Human Endeavor

Human personality traits are part of real
Scientists, like other people may be driven
by pride, ambition, or fear
Scientists sometimes make mistakes
Accidents, lucky guesses, intellectual
powers, and controversies with others
contribute strongly to scientific advances

Science Is a Human Endeavor

1. In the 1920s, bacteriologist Alexander
Fleming grew bacteria in cultures
2. One of the bacterial cultures became
contaminated with a mold
3. Fleming nearly destroyed the culture
when he noticed the mold (Penicillium)
inhibited bacterial growth in the culture

Science is a Human Endeavor

4. Fleming hypothesized that the mold
produced an antibacterial substance
5. Further tests using broth from pure
Penicillium cultures lead to the discovery
of the first antibiotic, penicillin

Science is a Human Endeavor

6. Fleming continued beyond a lucky
accident with further scientific
investigation to a great discovery
7. Chance favors the prepared mind
(Louis Pasteur)

Scientific Theory
A scientific theory differs in definition
from that of everyday usage
Many people use the word theory to mean
hypothesis, and educated guess

Scientific Theory
A scientific theory is a general explanation
for important natural phenomena
It is extensively and reproducibly tested
It is more like a principle or natural law (e.g.
the atomic, gravitational, and cell theories)
If compelling evidence arises, a theory may
be modified

Scientific Theory
New scientific evidence may prompt
radical revision of existing theory
Example: the discovery of prions

Scientific Theory
Before 1980, all known infectious diseases
contained DNA or RNA
In 1982, Stanley Prusiner showed that the
infectious sheep disease scrapie is
caused by a protein (a protein infectious
particle or prion)

Scientific Theory
Prions have since been shown to cause
mad cow disease and diseases in
The willingness of scientists to revise
accepted belief in light of new data was
critical to understanding and expanding
the study of prions

Science Is Based on Reasoning

Inductive Reasoning
Used in the development of scientific theories
A generalization is created from many
e.g., the cell theory (all living things are made
of one or more cells) arises from many
observations that all indicate a cellular basis
for life

Science Is Based on Reasoning

Deductive Reasoning
Generating hypotheses based on a wellsupported generalization (such as a theory)
e.g., based on the cell theory, any newly
discovered organism would be expected to be
composed of cells

Section 1.2 Outline

1.2 Evolution: The Unifying Theory of
Three natural processes underlie evolution
Much of organism variability is inherited
Natural selection preserves survival and
reproductive genes

Unifying Theory of Biology

Abundant evidence has been found to
support evolutionary theory since Darwin
and Wallace proposed it in the mid-1800s
Those who see evolution as just a theory
dont understand the scientific definition of a

Unifying Theory of Biology

Evolution explains how diverse forms of life
originated through changes in their genetic
Modern organisms descended with modification
from pre-existing life forms
Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the
light of evolution (Theodosius Dobzhansky)

Three Natural Processes Underlie

Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace
formulated the basis of our modern
understanding of evolution
Evolution arises as a consequence of three
natural processes

Three Natural Processes Underlie

1. Genetic variation among members of a
2. Inheritance of those variations by
offspring of parents carrying the variation
3. Natural selection of individuals whose
survival and enhanced reproduction are
due to the favorable variations they carry

Genetic Variability
Genetic variation arises from segments of
DNA (genes)
Changes in genes (mutation) alter the
informational content
Mutations arise from a number of sources
Mutations can occur from irradiation
Mutations occasionally arise from copying
mistakes in DNA during cellular reproduction

Genetic Variability
Effects of mutation
No effect (harmless)
A decrease in organisms ability to function
Death of the organism
An increase in an organisms ability to survive
and reproduce (rare)

Mutations occurring over millions of years

and passed through many generations
cause members of a species to be slightly

Natural Selection
Organisms that best meet environmental
challenges leave the most offspring
Natural selection preserves genes that
help organisms flourish

Natural Selection
Adaptations are structures, physiological
process, or behaviors that aid in survival
and reproduction
Adaptations that are good for one
environment may be poor in another

Natural Selection
Species that cannot adapt to
environmental change go extinct (e.g. the
dinosaurs, illustrated by the Triceratops

Natural Selection
The many different habitats
(environments) in an area coupled with
evolutionary adaptive processes produce
species variety or biodiversity
Humans are responsible for accelerating
the rate of environmental change (and
therefore the rate of extinction of species)

Section 1.3 Outline

1.3 What Are the Characteristics of
Living Things?
Living Things Are Both Complex, Organized,
and Composed of Cells
Living Things Respond to Stimuli
Living Things Maintain Relatively Constant
Internal Conditions Through Homeostasis

Section 1.3 Outline

1.3 What Are the Characteristics of
Living Things? (continued)
Living Things Acquire and Use Materials and
Living Things Grow
Living Things Reproduce Themselves
Living Things as a Whole Have the Capacity
to Evolve

Defining Life
Dictionary definition of life is:
the quality that distinguishes a vital and
functioning being from a dead body

Living things are more than the sum of

their parts; life is difficult to define
The complexity and ordered interactions
of parts in living things gives rise to
certain emergent properties

Living Things Are Composed of

Living things are complex and organized

Living Things Are Composed of

The cell theory states that the cell is the
basic unit of life
A single cell has an elaborate internal

Living Things Are Composed of

All cells contain:
Genes that provide information to direct
the cell
Organelles, small specialized
structures that perform specific
A plasma membrane that encloses the
fluid cytoplasm and organelles from the
outside world

Organisms must maintain relatively constant
internal conditions (homeostasis)
e.g. many organisms regulate body temperature

Homeostatic mechanisms include
Sweating in hot weather or dousing oneself with
cool water
Metabolizing more food, basking in the sun, or
turning up the thermostat in cold weather

Organisms still grow and change while

maintaining homeostasis

Living Things Respond to Stimuli

Organisms sense and respond to internal
and external environmental stimuli
Sensory organs in animals can detect and
respond to external stimuli like light, sound,
chemicals, etc.
Internal stimuli in animals are perceived by
stretch, temperature, pain, and chemical
Plants and bacteria respond to stimuli as well
(e.g. plants to light, bacteria to available
nutrients in the medium)

Living Things Acquire Materials

Materials and energy required to maintain
organization, to grow, and to reproduce

Living Things Acquire Materials

Important materials (nutrients) acquired
from air, water, soil, or other living things
Nutrients are continuously recycled among
living and nonliving things

Living Things Acquire Materials

Nutrients are incorporated into the bodies
of organisms
Metabolism is the sum total of all the
chemical reactions needed to sustain an
organisms life

Living Things Acquire Materials

Organisms obtain energy in two ways
Plants and some single-celled organisms
capture sunlight in photosynthesis.
Other organisms consume energy-rich
molecules in the bodies of other organisms

All energy that sustains life comes directly

or indirectly from the sun

Living Things Grow

Every organism becomes larger over time
Plants, bird, and mammals grow by producing
more cells to increase their mass
Bacteria grow by enlarging their cells; they
also divide to make more individuals

Growth involves the conversion of

acquired materials to molecules of the
organisms body

Living Things Reproduce Themselves

Organisms give rise to offspring of the
same type (reproduction)
The parents genetic material (DNA) is
passed on to the offspring, creating
continuity of life
Diversity of life occurs because offspring
may be genetically different from their

Capacity to Evolve
The genetic composition of a whole
species changes over many generations
Mutations and variable offspring allow a
species to evolve

Capacity to Evolve
Evolutionary theory states that modern
organisms descended with modification
from pre-existing life-forms
Natural selection is a process where
organisms with certain adaptations survive
and reproduce more successfully than

Section 1.4 Outline

1.4 How Do Scientists Categorize the
Diversity of Life?
Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Types in the
Unicellularity and multicellularity in Bacteria,
Archaea, and the kingdoms of Eukarya
Ways Organisms Acquire Energy

Categorizing Life
Organisms can be grouped into three
Bacteria (single, simple cells)
Archaea (single, simple cells)
Eukarya (one or more highly complex cells)

Categorizing Life
Domain Eukarya contains four
subdivisions or kingdoms
The Protists

Categorizing Life
There are exceptions to any simple set of
rules used to distinguish the domains and
kingdoms, but three characteristics are
particularly useful
Cell type
The number of cells in each organism
Energy acquisition

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

Cell types named after presence or
absence of a nucleus
The nucleus is a membrane-enclosed sac
containing the cells genetic material

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

Two cell types seen among all living things
Prokaryotic (before nucleus in Greek)
Only 1-2 micrometers in diameter
Lacking organelles or a nucleus
Cell type found in Domains Bacteria and Archaea

Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells

Eukaryotic (true nucleus in Greek)
Larger than prokaryotic cells
Contain a variety of organelles, including a nucleus
Cell type found only among members of Domain

Unicellularity vs. Multicellularity

Unicellular (single-celled) organisms
found in:
The protists in Eukarya

Unicellularity vs. Multicellularity

Multicellular (many-celled) organisms
found in Eukarya
Kingdom Fungi
Kingdom Plantae
Kingdom Animalia

Ways Organisms Acquire Energy

Autotrophs (self-feeders)
Photosynthetic organisms that capture
sunlight and store it in sugar and fats
Includes plants, some bacteria, and some

Ways Organisms Acquire Energy

Heterotrophs (other-feeders)
Organisms that acquire energy through
ingesting molecules in the bodies of other
Includes many archaeans, bacteria, protists,
fungi, and animals
Size of food eaten varies from individual
food molecules to ingestion and digestion of
whole chunks

Section 1.5 Outline

1.5 How Does Knowledge of Biology
Illuminate Everyday Life?
Science is Part of Everyday Human Existence

Science Is Part of Everyday Human

We can use the scientific method as we
observe things in nature
Applying scientific thought to natural
observations does not decrease ones
sense of wonder and appreciation

Science Is Part of Everyday Human

Scientific understanding and a sense of
wonder about nature are not mutually

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