Biology: The Study of Life


Biology: What Is It and Why Should I Care?

Biology comes from the Ancient Greek βιολογία, or more informatively the root bio & suffix -logy.  In simplest terms, bio = “life” and -logy = “study of”.  Biology is the study of life.  Another way of saying this would be to say that biology is the study of organisms (“living beings” or “living things” as most like to say).

As for why you should care, well since you are a living thing, it might be important for you to understand things that go on with regards to your body.  Biology can get in as much detail as you want to study.  In fact, some universities require biology majors to take a little bit of everything while others require you to pick a specific area of concentration.  Much like there’s the doctor you go to when you don’t know what’s wrong (a general practice doctor or a “family doctor”), you can also go to a specific doctor for specific problems (for example, you’d see a cardiologist for heart problems).

Here are a few of the fields found in biology (with the subject matter in parentheses):

  • Anatomy (body structure)
  • Botany (plants)
  • Cytology (cells)
  • Ecology (animals’ interaction with their environment)
  • Genetics (genes & heredity)
  • Microbiology (microorganisms)
    • Parasitology (parasites)
    • Virology (viruses)
  • Mycology (fungi)
  • Physiology (body function)
  • Zoology (animals)
    • Herpetology (snakes)
    • Ornithology (birds)
    • Paleontology (ancient organisms)

Click here for a more comprehensive, though probably not exhaustive, list.


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