Cracow, Poland

Faculty of Biology

Wydział Biologii

Subject area: biology
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The Faculty came into being in 1951. The disciplines it comprises - biology, geography, geology and environment sciences – have been developing throughout the centuries of the Jagiellonian University history. Another discipline it originally comprised, that of molecular biology, became independent in 2002.
Biology is the natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their physical structure, chemical composition, function, development and evolution. Modern biology is a vast field, composed of many branches. Despite the broad scope and the complexity of the science, there are certain unifying concepts that consolidate it into a single, coherent field. Biology recognizes the cell as the basic unit of life, genes as the basic unit of heredity, and evolution as the engine that propels the creation of new species. Living organisms are open systems that survive by transforming energy and decreasing their local entropy to maintain a stable and vital condition defined as homeostasis. See glossary of biology.
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When he meets a simple geometrical construction, for instance in the honeycomb, he would fain refer it to physical instinct, or to skill and ingenuity, rather than to the operation of physical forces or mathematical laws; when he sees in a snail, or nautilus, or tiny foraminiferal or radiolarian shell a close approach to sphere or spiral, he is prone of old habit to believe that after all it is something more than a spiral or a sphere, and that in this "something more" there lies what neither mathematics nor physics can explain. In short, he is deeply reluctant to compare the living with the dead, or to explain by geometry or by mechanics the things which have their part in the mystery of life.
D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson, On Growth and Form (1917)
When you study science, and especially these realms of the biology of what makes us human, what's clear is that every time you find out something, that brings up ten new questions, and half of those are better questions than you started with.
Robert Sapolsky (2003) Emperor Has No Clothes Award acceptance speech
What is found in biology is mechanisms, mechanisms built with chemical components and that are often modified by other, later, mechanisms added to the earlier ones. While Occam's razor is a useful tool in the physical sciences, it can be a very dangerous implement in biology.
Francis Crick (1988) What Mad Pursuit


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