|MadSci Network: General Biology|
Taxonomy, as it is known, is the arrangment of all living things into established groups according to their physical observed characteristics, or in modern times by the similarities in their DNA sequences. Why is it important? Well, to put it simply, if we can't categorize and describe what we have, we don't know what we have. In order to understand, appreciate, study, and discuss the amazing variety of life on earth, we have to have a standardized language to talk about it. With the taxonomic classification system, scientists who live in different countries and speak different languages can study the same organism- and be SURE they are studying the same organism. Imagine what it would be like if scientists had to learn hundreds of different local names for each organism! On a practical note, it is important information for plant scientists who interbreed crops, and and for biologists to determine which species is closest to man for medical experiments, without we wouldn't enjoy the quality of life we have today. Ref, Reader Digest Library of Essential Knowledge.- and info. from weboflife.org -some commentary by Erin Cram, MadSci Moderator
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on General Biology.