Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Reply to comment

MarieSager's picture

I went home this weekend

I went home this weekend and my little brother (who is in 7th grade) was doing his science homework and he asked me, "is a tree alive?" I really couldn't believe that we were both covering the same subject and I was like "what?!" but then he clarified and said "is a tree a living organism?" His assignment was to put the entities in a picture into 2 separate categories- living and non-living organisms. He went on to figure out that a tree went into the living organism list, but it got me thinking- are categories useful? I mean, we used them in our lab and without them I don't think we could have created any meaningful system of classification. But how broad do our categories have to be? Or how narrow? And how much overlap is ok? I don't totally know where I am going with all this, but I think that this week in class, we kind of set categories and we used these categories to define life. Categories or characteristics? Do characteristics make categories? .... I guess it's something more to think about. 

Reply

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
17 + 2 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.