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    why is it important to classify the millions of species on earth? to have common names that everyone can remember to more easily sequence their genetic material to devise scientific names that only scientists can learn to organize them and speak about them accurately

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    Scientific Nomenclature: How do we give scientific names?

    Scientific Nomenclature: How do we give scientific names?

    © WWF / Martin Harvey

    SCIENTIFIC NOMENCLATURE: HOW DO WE GIVE SCIENTIFIC NAMES?

    Source : wwf.panda.org

    Taxonomy: How to Name and Classify Living Things

    Naming living organisms is a complex job and requires a methodical approach. Thankfully, scientists have found a system to do so. What is it?

    Taxonomy: How to Name and Classify Living Things

    FROM THE LECTURE SERIES: THE JOY OF SCIENCE

    December 30, 2021

    By Robert Hazen, Ph.D.George Mason University

    Before looking at life in detail, it’s important to think about names, the field of taxonomy. Taxonomy is a formalized procedure for classifying and naming life forms. This is not at the forefront of science these days, yet nomenclature always plays a central role in science. This is because scientists can’t talk about objects in nature without naming them.

    Nomenclature helps scientists describe things better. (Image: LEDOMSTOCK/Shutterstock)

    The Importance of Taxonomy in Science

    Scientists not only have to name every kind of organism, but also they have to be able to name all the different parts of organisms. They can’t communicate in a chaotic way, where they have their own set of terms. They have to be able to communicate with other scientists.

    Another reason why nomenclature is important is that sometimes you can’t recognize a new phenomenon unless you have a name for it.

    This is a transcript from the video series The Joy of Science. Watch it now, on Wondrium.

    The Linnaean System

    Homo sapiens is a binomial nomenclature for humans. (Image: Alessandrosmerilli/Public domain)

    The Linnaean system is the way that scientists arrange and describe and catalog living things. It is a hierarchical classification, much like the way an address works. When you write a letter to somebody, you give an address from top to bottom. The Linnaean system works exactly the same way. You define a kingdom, a phylum, a class, an order; then a family, a genus, and a species.

    For example, humans are in the kingdom of animals. We’re in the phylum of chordates, the sub-phylum of vertebrates, that is all the animals with bony backbones. We’re in the class of mammals, the order of primates, the family of hominids, the genus Homo, and the species sapiens.

    The common shorthand, when dealing with this very complex nomenclature system, is to just cite the genus and species; it’s what’s called binomial nomenclature. So, for example, humans are members of Homo sapiens: Homo being the genus, sapiens being the species.

    Learn more about the evolution of life.

    A Matter of Species

    Nomenclature can get very complex when dealing with fossils. (Image: liga_sveta/Shutterstock)

    The matter of species in taxonomy is not a simple one. It’s not always easy to tell what a species is. The simplest definition, that people have used for a long time, is that if two organisms can mate and produce fertile offspring, they’re of the same species.

    That sounds simple enough, but what’s a species? How do you define it? Nature does what nature wants to do; it doesn’t conform to our definitions. Nature is much more complex, and that’s why nomenclature can be very complex. Of course, this situation gets even more complex when you look at fossils.

    The fossil record is filled with objects that vary one from another in subtle ways. Are they different species? Are they the same? Could they have interbred? Who knows? You have to use taxonomy, various forms of morphology, the shape of those fossils, and make your best guess—and qualify it, because nature is what nature is.

    Learn more about the competing theories about how evolution occurs.

    Estimating the Number of Species  

    In terms of living things, all life can, in one way or another, be classified according to the Linnaean system. At present, there are about 1.8 or 1.9 million known species; but how many species are there in the world that haven’t been identified?

    It’s difficult to estimate, but one way of doing it is to plot the number of known species versus time. For example, the number of birds in 1800, and 1810, and 1820, and so forth, versus time; you see a gradual increase and a leveling-off. Once you see that leveling-off, you know you’re getting close to the number of total species.

    This implies that there’s been a constant looking for birds, mammals, or some other group. But some types of organisms are tremendously underrepresented, because no one’s looked for them; microbes in particular, tiny single-celled organisms, and very small, microscopic, organisms that are multicelled.

    People have conducted exhaustive tests on small plots of land, just to see how many species there are; and it turns out, we may not know very much at all about life on Earth.

    Common Questions about Taxonomy: How to Name and Classify the Living Things

    Q: How are humans catalogued in the Linnaean system?

    The Linnaean system is the way that scientists arrange and describe and catalog living things. They define a kingdom, a phylum, a class, an order; then a family, a genus, and a species. Humans are in the kingdom of animals. We’re in the phylum of chordates, the sub-phylum of vertebrates, that is all the animals with bony backbones. We’re in the class of mammals, the order of primates, the family of hominids, the genus Homo, and the species sapiens.

    Source : www.wondriumdaily.com

    6 Science Content Standards

    Read chapter 6 Science Content Standards: Americans agree that our students urgently need better science education. But what should they be expected to ...

    National Science Education Standards (1996)

    National Science Education Standards (1996) Chapter:6 Science Content Standards

    Get This Book

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    Page 103

    Suggested Citation:"6 Science Content Standards." National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4962.

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    Chapter 6Science Content Standards

    The content standards presented in this chapter outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in natural science. The content standards are a complete set of outcomes for students; they do not prescribe a curriculum. These standards were designed and developed as one component of the comprehensive vision of science education presented in the National Science Education Standards and will be most effective when used in conjunction with all of the standards described in this book. Furthermore, implementation of the content standards cannot be successful if only a subset of the content standards is used (such as implementing only the subject matter standards for physical, life, and earth science).

    This introduction sets the framework for the content standards by describing the categories of the content standards with a rationale for

    Page 104

    Suggested Citation:"6 Science Content Standards." National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4962.

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    each category, the form of the standards, the criteria used to select the standards, and some advice for using the science content standards.

    Rationale

    The eight categories of content standards are

    Unifying concepts and processes in science.

    Science as inquiry. Physical science. Life science.

    Earth and space science.

    Science and technology.

    Science in personal and social perspectives.

    History and nature of science.

    The standard for unifying concepts and processes is presented for grades K-12, because the understanding and abilities associated with major conceptual and procedural schemes need to be developed over an entire education, and the unifying concepts and processes transcend disciplinary boundaries. The next seven categories are clustered for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Those clusters were selected based on a combination of factors, including cognitive development theory, the classroom experience of teachers, organization of schools, and the frameworks of other disciplinary-based standards. References for additional reading for all the content standards are presented at the end of Chapter 6.

    The sequence of the seven grade-level content standards is not arbitrary: Each standard subsumes the knowledge and skills of other standards. Students' understandings and abilities are grounded in the experience of inquiry, and inquiry is the foundation for the development of understandings and abilities of the other content standards. The personal and social aspects of science are emphasized increasingly in the progression from science as inquiry standards to the history and nature of science standards. Students need solid knowledge and understanding in physical, life, and earth and space science if they are to apply science.

    Multidisciplinary perspectives also increase from the subject-matter standards to the standard on the history and nature of science, providing many opportunities for integrated approaches to science teaching.

    Unifying Concepts and Processes Standard

    Conceptual and procedural schemes unify science disciplines and provide students with powerful ideas to help them understand the natural world. Because of the underlying principles embodied in this standard, the understandings and abilities described here are repeated in the other content standards. Unifying concepts and processes include

    Systems, order, and organization.

    Evidence, models, and explanation.

    Change, constancy, and measurement.

    Evolution and equilibrium.

    Form and function.

    This standard describes some of the integrative schemes that can bring together students' many experiences in science education across grades K-12. The unifying concepts and processes standard can be the focus of instruction at any grade level but should always be closely linked to outcomes aligned with other content standards. In the

    Page 105

    Suggested Citation:"6 Science Content Standards." National Research Council. 1996. National Science Education Standards. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4962.

    ×

    early grades, instruction should establish the meaning and use of unifying concepts and processes—for example, what it means to measure and how to use measurement tools. At the upper grades, the standard should facilitate and enhance the learning of scientific concepts and principles by providing students with a big picture of scientific ideas—for example, how measurement is important in all scientific endeavors.

    Science as Inquiry Standards

    In the vision presented by the Standards, inquiry is a step beyond ''science as a process," in which students learn skills, such as observation, inference, and experimentation. The new vision includes the "processes of science" and requires that students combine processes and scientific knowledge as they use scientific reasoning and critical thinking to develop their understanding of science. Engaging students in inquiry helps students develop

    Source : nap.nationalacademies.org

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