Monday, January 25, 2010




That itself is a philosophical question and can only be responded through philosophical explanations, which is subjected to the experience of the person explaining it. However, what you will learn in this presentation are the
characteristics of living things, in other words, we will engage in discussions on what all living things have in common.

Since this course pursues the studies of living things, which includes their structures, their behavior with the living and the non-living environment and their modes of reproduction, we are entrenching in the science of biology, with the prefix "
bio" meaning life and the suffix "logy" meaning the study of. We are therefore engaging in the study of life.


Most people feel confident that they can tell the difference between the living and the nonliving, however, sometimes it is not so clear. In identifying living things you might ask, "Does it move? Does it grow? Does it reproduce?" These are all excellent questions, but consider a flame. A flame can move, it can grow and it can reproduce more flames. Are flames alive?

Anything that possesses the characteristics of life is called an
organism. An organism is anything that is living, for example, humans, dogs, cats, bacteria, trees etc..

In order to determine if something is living or nonliving, there is a checklist that you must go through. Living things satisfy all of the conditions of this checklist.

  • Organization
  • Reproduction
  • Growth
  • Development
  • Adjust to their surroundings
  • Living things adapt and evolve
  • Living thing are made of cells

Organization, which refers to an orderly structure present in all livings. This manifest in their ability to efficiently copy their genetic information and reproduce themselves.
Reproduction refers to the ability of the organism to make an offspring or a baby.
Growth refers to the ability of living things to accumulate living materials or get bigger.
Development refers to all of the changes in the life of the organism, which include growth, attaining maturity etc..
Adjust to their surroundings refers to the need of organisms to maintain a balance of internal environment. For example, when you go outside on a cold day, even though you're cold on the outside, your body stays the same temperature on the inside. As changes occur inside or outside of the organism, the organism is able to respond in ways that maintain this stability.
Living things adapt and evolve, this refers to any structural, behavioral, or internal processes that enables the organism to survive the changes in the environment.
Living things are made of cell(s) One way to determine if something is living is decide as to whether that thing is made of cells. Because this a characteristic that is only shared by living things, the presence of cell(s) is a definite indicator. We can find out if something has cells by looking at it under a microscope.

Are rocks living or nonliving?
  • Are rocks made of cells?
  • Do rocks have organization?
  • Do rocks reproduce?
  • Do rocks growth?
  • Do rocks undergo development?
  • Do rocks adjust to their surroundings?
  • Do rocks adapt and evolve?
If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then the answer is yes rock is alive.

If the answer is no for one or more of these questions, then the answer is no; rock is not alive.

How do you determine if two organisms are of the same species?
Two organisms are of the same species if they can interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

  • Organism any living thing
  • Biology the study of life
  • Stimulus any condition in the environment that requires the organism to adjust, for example, when you are hot, you sweat, when you are cold, your body shivers etc..
  • Response is a reaction to a stimulus, the sweating and the shivering are responses to the organism's environment.
  • Species a group of organism that can mate to have babies and these babies are able to mate and make more babies
  • Energy is the ability to work
  • Evolution is the gradual build up of adaptation overtime.
  • Homeostasis is internal processes that maintain stability inside an organism.

List one characteristic of living things that is not found in nonliving things.

  • If you say cell(s), you are correct because only living things are made of cells.


  • Give example of an organism
  • List two fields study by biologists
  • When you increase your physical activity, your heart rate increases. Identify the stimulus and the response.
  • Are cat and dogs the same species? Explain.
  • How do we get our energy?
  • How is adaptation different from evolution?
  • What do living things need?
THINK: Are horses and donkeys the same species?

Identify the following as living or nonliving:

  • bacteria ________________
  • plants _________________
  • cats ___________________
  • birds __________________
  • volcano ________________
  • sand ___________________
  • fire ____________________

Do living things depend on nonliving things?

  • The answer to this question is yes. Living things depend on temperature, the sun, oxygen and water etc.. for their survival.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The digestive System

The digestive system breaks down the food into a form that the cells can use. The digestive system must digest the food so that the food can be small enough to diffuse through the cells of the digestive system into the blood. To learn more click on this link: DIGESTIVE SYSTEM



The purpose of the urinary system is to remove waste product from the blood. The main organs of the urinary system are: the kidneys, which filter the blood, the ureters, which are two tubes that connect the kidneys to the urinary bladder, the urinary bladder, which stores the urine until it is ready to be expelled from the body and the urethra, which is a tube that carries the urine outside of the body.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Circulatory System

The job of the circulatory system is to carry oxygen, nutrients and other things that are needed by the cells to the cells and carry waste products away from the cells. To learn more, click on the following link:

  • What is the function of the circulatory system?
  • List the organs of the circulatory system
  • How does this system works together with the digestive system in promoting homeostasis?

Check these animations. VIDEO OF CIRCULATORY SYSTEM


Monday, January 11, 2010

The Respiratory System

The purpose of the respiratory system is to supply the blood with oxygen so that the blood can deliver the oxygen to all of the cells in the body and provide an exit path for carbon dioxide to leave the body. As you know, oxygen is required in a cellular process called respiration. This process converts glucose into a form of energy that can be used by the cell called ATP. To learn more, Click on this link: RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

  • What is the purpose of the respiratory system?
  • List the organs of the respiratory system.
  • How does the respiratory system work together with the circulatory system in promoting homeostasis?

Check this video: VIDEO ANIMATION

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Endocrine System

Your body functions are controlled by two systems, the nervous system and the endocrine system. The nervous system consists of the brain, the brain stem, the spinal chord, and the nerves. This system use nerve impulses or electrical signal to exert its influence on the body. The action of this system is fast, but short lasting. The endocrine system consist of hormones and glands that control body activity. The effect of the endocrine system is slow but long lasting.

Puberty is a time in a young person's life where the action of the endocrine gland is most visible. For example, the hormone testosterone is responsible for most of the visible changes that occur in boys, such as deepening of the voice, facial hair, enlargement of sexual organs ect. As for girls, some of the changes that occur are development of the breast, menstrual cycle etc. To further enhance your understanding of the endocrine system works, click the following link. Endocrine System

Check this video animation: ENDOCRINE SYSTEM

Check out these videos of human body systems: BODY SYSTEMS

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Nervous System and the endocrine system

The nervous system consists of the brain, the nerves and the spinal chord. This system works with the endocrine system to control all body activities. To learn more, click the links that follow.