What branch of science deals with living things

Yet most social scientists would object to such subsumption of social sciences under biology, and claim that the uniqueness of the human species would require a separate science. Some would even claim that such uniqueness makes humans independent of and immune to laws and principles of biology; biology is not important for human behavior.

What Is Biology?

According to a study, sociologists surveyed on average attribute only 4. Many years ago, I was once such a sociologist. There is no question that humans are unique. As the great sociobiologist Pierre van den Berghe points out, however, humans are not unique in being unique.

Framework of understanding

For every species is unique. If it is not, it would not be a separate species. If uniqueness of a species requires a separate scientific discipline, then there would have to be as many scientific disciplines as there are species dog science, cat science, giraffe science, etc.

In reality, biology covers all species in nature, except for humans, or so goes the conventional wisdom in social sciences. To claim that social sciences are not part of biology and to establish a separate and incompatible science just for humans is as peculiar and unnecessary as the establishment of hydrogenology , the study of hydrogen apart from, and incompatible with, physics.

What Is Biology?

Yet the idea of hydrogenology separate from physics makes as much sense as the idea of social sciences separate from biology. Hydrogen is a very unique element: It is by far the most abundant element in the universe; it is the lightest and simplest element; it is the only element whose nucleus does not contain a neutron; it has the fewest number of isotopes in nature; it has extremely low boiling and melting points; the hydrogen molecule is the simplest molecule; it has a velocity higher than any other gas at any given temperature and it therefore diffuses faster than any other gas The list goes on.

Yet it is completely unnecessary to establish hydrogenology devoted only to the study of hydrogen because physics constructs general laws and principles applicable to all elements, including hydrogen. Boyle's Law and Avogadro's Law hold for hydrogen as they do for all other gases despite its uniqueness. Physics as a science has advanced as it has because it does not make exceptions; it formulates general laws and principles that apply to all elements, not specific ones for each element.

Classification of Living Things

Of course, physicists, like other scientists, specialize in certain types of matter; some are elementary particle physicists, others are condensed matter physicists. So there is nothing wrong with some scientists specializing in human behavior. In chemistry, some specialize in the study of carbon compounds, but nothing in "carbonology" organic chemistry is inconsistent with the general principles of chemistry.

I am not calling for the elimination of social sciences, only its subsumption as "human biology. Wilson most comprehensively and emphatically calls for the unity, or consilience , of all sciences and humanities such as arts, literature, music, and ethics , guided by the principles of evolutionary biology.

life science

Consilience is what we need in order to subsume social sciences under biology. Most social scientists do not see how the same laws of biology hold for humans as they do for all other species. For instance, most social scientists claim that, even though all other species in nature have innate, species-typical nature, which determines how members of the species behave, humans are an exception to this rule and have no innate nature. They claim that humans are born blank slates and all of their behavior is determined by socialization and other environmental factors. Most social scientists do not see how such human exceptionalism - their tendency to formulate theories specific only to humans - has hindered the development of social sciences.

It would take tremendous faith in the Biblical creation to believe that humans are somehow the only species that is exempt from the laws of biology that permeate the rest of nature. Hydrogenology apart from physics is not necessary, because hydrogen, while unique, is only quantitatively, not qualitatively, different from other elements.

Hydrogen is a distinct element from helium, but helium is nothing but hydrogen with an extra pair of proton and electron. Lithium, while distinct from hydrogen and helium, is nothing but helium with an extra pair of proton and electron.


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All elements are the same, except in the number of protons and electrons they contain; all unique properties of different elements derive from it. It may be frustrating when the media reports conflicting findings. After all, one day margarine is better for your cholesterol level, and then the next day, margarine produces harmful fatty acids that contribute to heart disease. However, when you hear those news reports, you are witnessing science at work. Years ago, when scientists figured out that high cholesterol levels contributed to heart disease, they correctly determined that a product created from vegetable oil rather than animal fat — margarine — was a healthier choice if you were trying to lower your cholesterol level.

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Branches of Biology Definition and Examples | Biology Online Dictionary

They keep wondering, questioning, and pondering. They are curious fellows. So they keep researching margarine. And, recently, they discovered that when margarine breaks down, it releases transfatty acids , which were found to be harmful to the heart and blood vessels. Yes, this makes your decision in the grocery store a bit tougher, but just be thankful the knowledge base is wider. Scientific information is continually evolving, just like the scientists who are gathering it. Check out the brand new podcast series that makes learning easy with host Eric Martsolf.


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