Biology Chapter 1: The Study of Life

biology
the science that studies living organisms

organism
anything that possesses all the characteristics of life; have an orderly structure, produce offspring, grow, develop, and adjust to changes in the environment

organization
orderly structure shown by living things

development
the process of change that occurs during an organism’s life to produce a more complex organism

growth
increase in the amount of living material and formation of new structures in an organism; a characteristic of all living things

reproduction
the process of producing offspring

response
a reaction to a stimulus

species
group of similar organisms that can breed and produce fertile offspring

stimulus
a change in an organism’s surroundings that causes the organism to react

adaptation
inherited characteristic that improves an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce in a particular environment

homeostasis
regulation of an organism’s internal environment to maintain conditions needed for life

science
organized way of using evidence to learn about the natural world; also, the body of knowledge that scientists have built up after years of using this process

law
Summarizing statement of observed experimental facts that has been tested many times and is generally accepted as true

theory
well-tested explanation that makes sense of a great variety of scientific observations

peer review
a process in which the procedures used during an experiment may be repeated and the results are evaluated by scientists who are in the same field or are conducting similar research

ethics
the moral principles and values held by humans

inference
assumption based on prior experience

observation
orderly, direct information gathering about a natural phenomenon

scientific method
a series of steps followed to solve problems, including collecting data, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, and stating conclusions

experiment
a procedure that is carried out under controlled conditions to discover, demonstrate, or test a fact, theory, or general truth

hypothesis
a testable prediction

constant
variable that is not changed in an experiment

control group
the group that does not receive the experimental treatment.

data
information gathered from observations

dependent variable
in an experiment, the factor that is being measured and that may change in response to manipulations of the independent variable

independent variable
Factor in an experiment that researchers manipulate so that they can determine its effect

experimental group
in an experiment, the group that is exposed to the treatment, that is, to one version of the independent variable

metric system
A decimal system of measurement whose units are based on certain physical standards and are scaled on multiples of 10

SI
Le Système International d’Unités, or the International System of Units, which is the measurement system that is accepted worldwide

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