Biology Biology means the study of life and it is the science which investigates all living things. For as long as people have looked at the world around them, people have studied biology. Even in the days before recorded history, people knew and passed on information about plants and animals. Prehistoric people survived by learning which plants were good to eat and which could be used for medicine. Farming would not have developed if they had not begun to understand which animals could produce food like milk and eggs.
In the past, more than 2000 years ago, people in the Middle east understood the part that insects and pollen played in the life cycle of plants. The ancient Egyptians studied the life cycle of insects and were particularly interested in the changes they went through as they grew from larvae to adult insects. The ancient Mesopotamians even kept animals in what were the earliest zoological gardens. The ancient Greeks, too, were greatly interested in understanding the world around them. Aristotle recorded his observations of plants and animals, and his successor, Theophrastus, wrote the first books on plant life, which made a very important contribution to the study of botany.
Modern biology really began in the 17th century. At that time Anton van Leeuwehoek, in Holland, invented the microscope and William Harvey, in England, described the circulation of blood. The microscope allowed scientists to discover bacteria, leading to an understanding of the causes of disease, while new knowledge about how the human body works allowed others to find more effective ways of treating illnesses. All this new knowledge needed to be put into order and n the 18th century the Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus classified all living things into the biological families we know and use today.
In the middle of the 19th century, unnoticed by anyone else, the Austrian monk Gregor Mendel, created his Laws of Inheritance, beginning the study of genetics that is such an important part of biology today. At the time, while travelling around the world, Charles Darwin was formulating the central principle of modern biology - natural selection as the basis of evolution.
It is hard to believe, but the nature of viruses has become apparent only within the last half of the 20th century and the first step on this path of discovery was taken by the Russian botanist Dmitry Ivanovsky in 1892.
In the 20th century, biologists began to recognize how plants and animals live and pass on their genetically code information to the next generation. Since then, partly because of developments in computer technology, there have been great advances in the field of biology; it is an area of ever-growing knowledge.
2. Определите, являются ли следующие предложения истинными или ложными ( True / False).
a) The earliest people must have known about plants or they would have died.
b) The Egyptians were interested in changing the way insects lived. True/ False
c) The microscope allowed biologists to treat illnesses. True/ False
d) Darwin’s theory was one of the most important in biology.
e) The study of biology hasn’t changed at all over centuries.
3. Заполните таблицу формами единственного и множественного числа имен существительных.