Biology studies the wildlife, a huge variety of extinct and now inhabit the earth of living creatures, their structure and function, origin, spread and development, communication with each other and with inanimate nature. Biology (from the Greek. «Bios» – life and «logos» – science) – is the science of life and its laws.
The methodological basis of biological knowledge are the laws and categories of dialectical materialism.
Modern biology – the science complex, which includes a number of sections. Botany and zoology studies the structure and the life of plants and animals; cytology, histology, anatomy – structure and function of cells, tissues and organs. The processes of vital activity of cells and organisms are exploring the physiology and biochemistry; the laws of heredity and variation – genetics; individual development of organisms – Embryology; their historical development – the teaching of evolution. The science of classification of organisms is called taxonomy, the science of the relationships of organisms and the environment – the environment. In recent decades, great strides achieved molecular biology that studies the chemical basis of life. At the intersection of biology and physics formed biophysics, which studies the physical processes in living systems.
Biology has arisen among the ancient Greeks and Romans, they describe the known plants and animals. Aristotle (384 – 322 years. BC. E.) – The founder of many sciences – first tried to organize knowledge about nature, distinguishing between her to “step”: the inorganic world, plant, animal, human] The classic work of Roman physician Gachena (131 – 200 years. BC. e.) “On the parts of the human body” is given first anatomical and physiological description of the man. In the Middle Ages they constitute the “herbalists” include mainly medicinal plants. In the Renaissance interest in wildlife has increased. Having botany and zoology. A. Vesalius (1514-1564), who gave a scientific description of the structure of human organs and systems, W. Harvey (1578 – 1657), who described the large and small circulation and its mechanism, and others have laid the foundations of human anatomy and physiology. The invention of the microscope in the early XVII century. By Galileo (1564-1642) expanded the boundaries of the world of living beings, to deepen understanding of their structure R. Hooke (1635-1703), M. Malpighi (1628-1694), Swammerdam (1637-1680) and A. Leeuwenhoek (1632- 1723) laid the foundation for the study of cell tissue. Leeuwenhoek first saw under the microscope bacteria, protozoa and spermatozoa.
One of the main achievements of the XVIII century. – Creation of a system of classification of animals and plants (Linnaeus, 1735). At the beginning of the XIX century. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in his book “The Philosophy of Zoology” (1809) was first articulated the idea of organic evolution. He coined the term “biology”.
New methods of research expeditions in the era of great geographical discoveries have enriched the biology of many new facts that led to its differentiation. In botany and zoology became isolated systematics, embryology, histology, microbiology, paleontology, biogeography, etc .;
Among the most important achievements of the XIX century. – The creation of cellular theory M. Schleiden and T. Schwann (1838 – 1839), which in 1855 was deepened by R. Virchow postulated that “every cell arises only from the cells.” Soon Louis Pasteur proved experimentally that even microorganisms are not capable of spontaneous generation, which had previously been considered a fact. They were discovered laws of heredity (Mendel, 1859). A genuine revolution in biology has made the teaching of Charles Darwin (1859), who discovered the driving forces of evolution, he explained its mechanism, and given a materialist interpretation of the expediency of the structure of living beings.
The beginning of XX century. It marked the birth of genetics. This science is the result of re-opening K. Correns, Tschermak E. and H. de Vries laws of heredity (Mendel discovered, but remain unknown to biologists of the time) and works T. Morgan, experimentally substantiated the chromosome theory of heredity.
In the 50 years achieved remarkable success study the fine structure of living matter. It was resolved the question of the material basis of heredity, universal for all organisms.
For modern biology characteristic, along with a detailed study of specific structures and organisms trend towards a holistic, synthetic knowledge of nature, as evidenced by the development of ecology.
History of biology – it is not only the history of knowledge, but also the history of the struggle of ideas – materialism and idealism, dialectics and metaphysics. The study challenges the essence of life, the role of its chemical and physical processes, its origin and development; study of the origin and evolution of human relations of biological and social in its nature proves the material unity of the world, recreates a picture of the evolution of matter and forms of its movement. The data indicate cognizability biology wildlife claim truth dialectical materialist worldview.
Biological processes are performed based on the internal laws of existence and development of the living, but not sent to the outside. The source of the unity and struggle of opposites: heredity and variation; the intensity of the reproduction of life and the limited resources; the interaction of genetic and environmental factors of the program. The mechanism of development associated with the transition from quantitative to qualitative changes: for example, increasing the frequency of mutations – Background of devices; changing environment during the existence of biocoenosis leads to their shifts. The focus of the development process obeys the law of negation of negation. This is confirmed by the biogenetic law, and the laws of changes of biocenoses, and the emergence of life. Causal links are endless and continuous.
Biology does not need divine help to explain the reasons for the development. The development of the materialist theory of evolution has made an enormous contribution to the struggle against religion, denying religious ideas about the nature of “divine” origin of life and man.
The significance of biology in solving practical problems.
Global problem today is the production of food. Today, in the world are hungry and malnourished around 2 billion.. To ensure at least minimal human needs, it is necessary to increase sharply, especially the production of agricultural products. This problem is solved by technological sciences: crop and livestock production, based on the achievements of fundamental biological disciplines such as genetics and breeding, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology and ecology.
On the basis of selection methods, developed and enriched by modern genetics, worldwide there is an intensive process of creating a more productive plant varieties and animal breeds. An important quality of new crop varieties – their adaptability to growing conditions in intensive technologies. Farm animals along with high productivity must possess specific morphological and anatomical and physiological characteristics that allow them to breed poultry farms, large farms with electric milking and confinement, in cells of fur farms.
In recent years, widespread industrial biotechnology microbial synthesis of organic acids, amino acids, feed proteins, enzymes, vitamins, growth promoters and plant protection products. For more productive forms of microorganisms used genetic engineering methods.
With the help of transplantation and gene biologists working on the creation of plants with controlled timing of flowering, increased resistance to diseases, soil salinity, ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. Genetic engineering has opened extraordinary perspectives of biotechnology related to the production of drugs (insulin, interferon), new vaccines for prevention of infectious diseases in humans and animals. Theoretical achievements of biology, particularly genetics, are widely used in medicine. The study of human heredity allows you to develop methods for early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of hereditary diseases associated with gene (hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, albinism, etc.), As well as chromosomal and genomic (early death, infertility, dementia) mutations and abnormalities.
In the face of increasing human impact on the nature of one of the root problems, the resolution of which requires the efforts of the entire humanity and every person is the greening of the Company and of human consciousness. The task is not only to identify and address the negative effects of human impact on nature – for example, local pollution by some materials (in the future this can be avoided), but also, more importantly, the scientific definition of modes of rational use of biosphere reserves. The negative effects of economic activity, taking in recent decades, large, become dangerous not only to human health but also for the environment as a whole. Preservation of the biosphere and the ability to reproduce nature – one of the challenges facing biology.