The Science of Biology

Section Summary

Biology is the science that studies living organisms and their interactions with one another and their environments. Science attempts to describe and understand the nature of the universe in whole or in part by rational means. Science has many fields. Those fields related to the physical world and its phenomena are natural sciences.

Science can be basic or applied. The main goal of basic science is to expand knowledge without any expectation of short-term practical application of that knowledge. The primary goal of applied research, however, is to solve practical problems.

Science uses two types of logical reasoning. Inductive reasoning uses particular results to produce general scientific principles. Deductive reasoning is a form of logical thinking that predicts results by applying general principles. The common thread throughout scientific research is using the scientific method, a step-based process that consists of making observations, defining a problem, posing hypotheses, testing these hypotheses, and drawing one or more conclusions. The testing uses proper controls. Scientists present their results in peer-reviewed scientific papers published in scientific journals. A scientific research paper consists of several well-defined sections: introduction, materials and methods, results, and, finally, a concluding discussion. Review papers summarize the conducted research in a particular field over a period of time.