Talk:Outline of biology

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Old discussions[edit]

Restriction-fragment-length polymorphism and legume are basic topics, but artificial selection and insect are not?

Hey, it's wikipedia. I had to add all but one (I think) of the entries with the format [{culture group} art] in the Visual arts basic topics section (letter A only). Still, it's a nice start. --MichaelTinkler

I just moved these topics from a list of topics I found linked from a subpage of the Biology page. Probably, that list wasn't intended as a list of basic topics, and perhaps I shouldn't have redirected that subpage to this page. Anyway, by all means edit this list, please! --LMS

That biology subpage was from me, but this place is better. Anyway, as that list is almost covered, it will have to grow. Should we just add topics, or structure them a little? [1] might serve as an example, and as a source for new "basic topics". --Magnus Manske

I made a preliminary list of topics. Please choose what is "basic" and what is not, and copy it to the "real" page. --Magnus Manske

(Note: List has been removed to avoid hiding orphans. Check the history if you want to restore it Andre Engels)

Was there a formatting error last post? I reverted to the last structure, b/c I can't imagine it making sense to anyone to categorize developmental bio and cell bio as parts of molecular bio. If that formatting wasn't a mistake, I'm happy to discuss the issue with whoever (sorry, I forgot your name) made the last changes. Also, the page had a structure where things that were predominantly techniques (like DNA microarray) were separated from ideas or things, which some of the recent changes (like DNA microarray) weren't conforming to. I think distinguishing techniques makes the list more organized and works pretty well. Do you disagree? It doesn't work great for everything, but I think if the system of hierachization isn't consistent then the list is harder to use.168... 04:22, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

BTW, as I see it, the organization we had going (which was mostly my doing, I should admit) was to order biology from biggest to smallest. Genetics is a grey area, in the sense that genes are molecules, but classical genetics is about whole organisms (Mendel's peas, fruit flies), and so I figured the best choice was to put it in the middle of the scale with medicine and physiology. "Genomics" I don't feel so sure what to do with. I put it under mo bio b/c if anything is genomics then it's genes and sequencing, and they's mo bio. I think "genomics" is more buzzword than something you can major in at school. Or it's sort of industrial molecular biology. 168... 04:31, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

molecular biology[edit]

I moved genetics, biochem, cell bio and dev bio under mol bio because that is how those topics are currently related. Although mol biol was at one time distinct from those other disciplines, the biologists who now do cell bio, dev biol, genetics and biochem are better thought of as the intellectual descendents of mol biologists rather than the people who started their particular fields.

I moved them there because other disciplines, such as ecology, evolution, etc. are still very much distinct from mol biology. But I'm not particularly stuck on the idea.

I do like the distinction between concepts and techniques, although this division is not always clear. Researchers in fields such as genetics and genomics are most closely related by the techniques they use rather than the topics they study.

I agree that the tools of molecular biology have infiltrated the older biology disciplines, but I don't see that as giving mo bio ownership of this formerly soveriegn academic terrain, which I think you're effectively giving it with your organizational scheme. I think it's best to group disciplines by their interests and orientation, or by the larger questions they ask, rather than by the means they use or the cellars they root in to answer their big questions. Developmental biologists' big questions are about limbs and organs and tissues. Yes, genes and molecules controls the emergence of these anatomical features, but the interest of dev biologists ultimately is much more wholistic. If you label dev bio as "molecular" you might as well label medicine and almost everything in biology "molecular." Even evolution depends on mutations in DNA. You could divide disciplines into those that use mo bio and those that don't, but that doesn't strike me as an effective way to bring out the colors of the spectrum of biology, which I think would be a suitable and attainable goal for this hierachy. Also, in the absence of a mindblowing heuristically powerful reconceptualization of biology, I think we might as well pay attention to the stodgy vision that persists in the names of university departments, academic societies and majors. This is an encyclopedia after all, and this article is sort of a table of contents.(BTW, did you know you can sign and date your posts by typing four tildes ("~")) 168... 06:22, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)

What's the difference between a linkage map and a genetic map? Rikurzhen 01:41, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

A linkage map is just one kind of genetic map, as I use the terms. e.g. I think before they sequenced the whole human genome, the public project produced (to misunderstood fanfare) a map of the human genome, which they made bybreaking it into fragments (contigs) and sequencing their ends. No linkage analysis involved there, but you get a "genetic map." 168... 02:52, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

What you call a "linkage map" I'd call a genetic map -- distances measured in map units or centi-Morgans. What you call a "genetic map" I'd call a physical map -- distances measured in base pairs. Rikurzhen 21:24, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

Ughh. You're right. I was thinking of a physical map. I knew this once. O.K., so to take another stab at your excellent original question: There's no difference.

That said, we might want a disambiguation page, because I know people sometimes use the terms "linkage map" and "genetic map" as well as "genetic linkage map." Also, there should probably be a physical map article. 168... 22:10, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

A disambiguation page would be great. I think genetic map is often used in the popular press to mean physical map ... much as gene is often used where allele or locus is meant. Rikurzhen 23:38, Oct 14, 2003 (UTC)

I agree that this paragraph is probably unnecessary and redundant:

As was done with the topic optical phenomenon I suggest the topic biological phenomenon from which numerous topics and links may be developed.

but it probably should be moved here, so that it can be discussed. The aforementioned page is pretty sparse and could be merged here, but perhaps the original author intended it as a list of everyday macroscopic biological phenomenon, which seems to be the purpose of optical phenomenon. If so, it could serve some purpose, albeit renamed so as not to be confused with a basic topics list like this one or a comprehensive list such as list of biology topics. --Lexor 09:19, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Yes, a good or more diplomatic idea than my deletion. I'm sorry I didn't move it here myself. 168... 17:07, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Should viruses be listed under the heading "Life forms", let alone being the first entry thereunder? I'm of the opinion myself that the listing is appropriate, but I've come across controversies both inside and outside wikipedia that lead me to this question.

Regards, Courtland 03:43, 2005 Apr 5 (UTC)

I just spent several hours re-organizing this basic topics in biology list. I'm not sure just how many additional articles went in, but it feels like it's more than 100. For those who think this is excessive for a "basic" list, I'll quietly point out that in the Dewey Decimal system for cataloging library books, the numbers 560-599 serve the biological sciences, while the rest of the 500's ( 500-559) serve the all of the remaining natural sciences (from math and physics to chemistry, astronomy, and geoscience). When you look at it that way, the list is not inordinately long. However, to make the list easier to use, I've grouped the topics into larger sections. Undoubtedly, there is more than one way to divide the categories, so my primary concern was to end up with sections of roughly the same size.

Major rename proposal of certain "lists" to "outlines"[edit]

See Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Major rename proposal of certain "lists" to "outlines". The Transhumanist 01:15, 12 June 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rename proposal for this page and all the pages of the set this page belongs to[edit]

See the proposal at the Village pump The Transhumanist 09:09, 4 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Guidelines for outlines[edit]

Guidelines for the development of outlines are being drafted at Wikipedia:Outlines.

Your input and feedback is welcomed and encouraged. The Transhumanist 00:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The "History of" section needs links![edit]

Please add some relevant links to the history section.

Links can be found in the "History of" article for this subject, in the "History of" category for this subject, or in the corresponding navigation templates. Or you could search for topics on Google - most topics turn blue when added to Wikipedia as internal links. The Transhumanist 00:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Quick explanation of Wikipedia outlines[edit]

"Outline" is short for "hierarchical outline". There are two types of outlines: sentence outlines (like those you made in school to plan a paper), and topic outlines (like the topical synopses that professors hand out at the beginning of a college course). Outlines on Wikipedia are primarily topic outlines that serve 2 main purposes: they provide taxonomical classification of subjects showing what topics belong to a subject and how they are related to each other (via their placement in the tree structure), and as subject-based tables of contents linked to topics in the encyclopedia. The hierarchy is maintained through the use of heading levels and indented bullets. See Wikipedia:Outlines for a more in-depth explanation. The Transhumanist 00:03, 9 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Quadratic equations (talk) 04:48, 23 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]