List the defining characteristics of biological life
Biology is the science that studies life, but what exactly is life? This may sound like a silly question with an obvious response, but it is not always easy to define life. Similarly, some biologists study the early molecular evolution that gave rise to life; since the events that preceded life are not biological events, these scientists are also excluded from biology in the strict sense of the term.
From its earliest beginnings, biology has wrestled with these questions: What are the shared properties that make something “alive”? And once we know something is alive, how do we find meaningful levels of organization in its structure?
What You’ll Learn to Do
- List the properties of life
- Order the levels of organization of living things
The learning activities for this section include the following:
- Properties of Life
- Levels of Organization of Living Things
- Self Check: Characteristics of Life