Best Book For Neet
Biology is the science of life forms and living processes. The living world comprises an amazing diversity of living organisms. Early man could easily perceive the difference between inanimate matter and living organisms. Early man deified some of the inanimate matter (wind, sea, fire etc.) and some among the animals and plants. A common feature of all such forms of inanimate and animate objects was the sense of awe or fcar that thcy evoked. The description of living organisms including human beings began much later in human history. Societies which indulged in anlhropocentric view of biology could regisler limited progress in biological knowledge. Systematic and monumental description of life forms brought in, out of necessity, detailed systems of identification, nomenclature and classification. The biggest spin off of such studies was the recognition of the sharing of similarities among living organisms both horizontally and vertically. That all present day living organisms are related to each other and also to all organisms that ever lived on this earth, was a revelation which humbled man and led to cultural movements for conservation of biodiversity. In the following chapters of this unit. you will get a description, including classification, of animals and plants from a taxonomist's perspective. eublished.
How wonderful is the living world ! The wide range of living types is amazing. The extraordinary habitats in which we find living organisms, be it cold mountains, deciduous forests, oceans, fresh water lakes, deserts ished or hot springs, leave us speechless. The beauty of a galloping horse, of the migrating birds, the valley of flowers or the attacking shark evokes awe and a deep sense of wonder. The ecological conflict and cooperation among members of a population and among populations of a community or even the molecular traffic inside a cell make us deeply reflect on what indeed is life? This question has two implicit questions within it. The first is a technical one and seeks answer to what living is as opposed to the non-living, and the second is a philosophical one, and seeks answer to what the purpose of life is. As scientists, we shall not attempt answering the second question.
We will try to reflect on - what is living?
WHAT IS 'LIVING"?
When we try to define 'living', we conventionally look for distinctive characteristics exhibited by living organisms. Growth, reproduction, ability to sense environment and mount a suitable response come to our mind immediately as unique features of living organisms. One can add a few more features like metabolism, ability to self-replicate, self-organise, interact and emergence to this list. Let us try to understand each of these. All living organisms grow. Increase in mass and increase in number of individuals are twin characteristics of growth.
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