Sonnentierchen Acanthocystis turfacea
Sonnentierchen Acanthocystis turfacea
Classification: Organisms

organism are physically structured material objects from predominantly organic-chemical substances, which are recordable by a sentence of characteristics, those as necessary criteria for livesare judged.

Rezente organisms always descend from other organisms. Over the emergence of lives from not living gathering molds one researches intensively.

Biology is concerned scientifically with all well-known organisms, their modifications and forerunners as well as with border forms of the life(e.g.Viruses).

Used terms: Way of life, creature, organisms.

Table of contents

characteristics of organisms

characteristics example organism example non--organism
energy exchange with the environment
admission plants take light energy on (photosynthesis) rock warm up on the day by admission of light energy
delivery all organisms, however in specialMeasured mammals, and give they deliver heat energy at the night again starting from
exchange of material with the environment
admission food intake refuelling a car with gasoline
delivery of animals give carbon dioxide and water starting from exhaust gas of the car consist (above all) of carbon dioxideand all
organisms (except viruses, Viroide and Prionen) burning candle information exchange receiving of information plants the position of the sun exposure meters
of the camera recognize water metabolism (chemical action of materials ) measure luminous intensity
sending information Warntracht of the wasps, language that Bees and the Hominiden traffic light
reaction to environmental changes
adjustment/adjustment plants arrange their sheets after the position of the sun from the sun adjusted solar cells
Volumenzunahme a yeast cell take after the cell division at volumes to growth common salt - of a crystal
cell division main cells of the Marrow -- “Cell division” is an originally organic term, can thus no inorganic correspondence have (the term “cell division” falls under the term “division” (Vermehrung))
Even reproduction (reproduction)
Vermehrung the cells resulted from cell division are similar to their nut/mother cell. Copy that DNA, thus transmission with technical systems not yet matured however theoretically possible; reproducing computer programs are practice (computer viruses).
The organisms of characteristic characteristics
one finds material basis of basic modules

of bio molecules water molecule storage medium DNA, RNA metal crystal particularthus also with technical, physical and chemical systems.

  1. To all living organisms (organisms) at least all characteristics must apply on the level of the cell.
  2. Dead organisms exhibited all characteristics in their past.
  3. Organisms, those have latent life not allCharacteristics exhibit, thus dead organisms or dead articles are similar, at any time however living organisms to become to be able. (Examples: Sporen of bacteria or mushrooms).
  4. Dead articles show at present their existence not all characteristics.

Three substantial characteristics have themselvesbut crystallizes out, which are to apply to all organisms as definition criteria:

ThisRestriction became however many hypothetical early stages of the development of the life as well as rezente border forms of the life, as viruses, categorically to exclude.


have timing a timing (Ontologie): They are born, them to grow, them change , reproduce themselves, they age and die.

With many single-celled organisms potential immortality is possible, there from a nut/mother cell without material loss two (as it were adults) daughter cells comes out. Over the germ course regarded however all organisms possess the potential of the immortality. ThisView is a logical thought play without scientific statement.

structure of organism

all organisms (plants, animals, mushrooms, bacteria, Archaeen and Protisten) are from cells or Syncytien (more-full of seeds cell fusions, e.g. Ciliaten and manyMushrooms) developed. Both the individual cell and the whole of the cells (a more-cellular organism) are structured and kompartimentiert, i.e., they form a complex developed system of each other defined reaction area. They are among themselves and to the external worldby bio diaphragms separated.

Each cell contains necessary instructions in its hereditary property (Desoxyribonukleinsäure) all for growth and for the various Lebensprozesse.

organic carbon compounds predominantly

consist chemistry

of the organisms

[work on] of elements organisms of water,and frequently from mineral or mineral strengthened bowls and Gerüststukturen (skeletons).

Beside carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) as main elements of the basic structure of the bio molecules come the elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), sulfur (s), iron (Fe), magnesium (mg), Potassium (C), sodium (well) and calcium (approx.) in the organisms forwards. Furthermore come chlorine (Cl), iodine (I), copper (cu), selenium (SE), cobalt (CO), molybdenum (Mo) and some other elements only in traces forwards, are however nevertheless essenziell.

Those by farmore frequently than carbon in the earth's crust occurring elements silicon and aluminum are not used due to their reduced Verbindungsmöglichkeiten than components of the life. Noble gases and elements more heavily than iodine (ordinal number 53) - do not appear as functional components of organisms.

biochemical components

organisms are particularly by the possession of reproducing molecules characterized. On earth this is the Polynukleotide DNA and RNA. Furthermore they contain, macromolecular coal hydrates (Polysaccharide) of proteins (proteins) as well as complex moleculeslike Lipide and Steroide. All these macromolecules and complex molecules do not occur in dead nature, them can by dead systems not be manufactured. Smaller components such as amino acids and nucleotides against it are also in dead nature, toTo find and can develop for example in interstellar gases or in meteorites also abiotisch.

Besides the cells contain to a large part water and in it solved inorganic materials of the organisms.

All life procedures take place in presence of water .


the life on earth takes a historically unique process. Even if one could re-establish the initial conditions, perhaps a similar operational sequence arose, but not the same, which took place until today. The reason for it is thoseMultiplicity of coincidence decisions, which since the beginning of the life to taken place today. These coincidence decisions do not become by selection and adjustment processes partly again balanced, nevertheless are conceivable an exactly identical development under material conditions.

The development of the different kinds ofOrganism is treated in the evolution theory. This of Charles Darwin justified branch of biology avowedly those variety of the ways of life by variation, mutation, transmission and selection.

The evolution theory treats the change of ways of life in the course of the time andthe emergence of the first ways of life. For this there is a set of concepts and hypotheses (for example to RNA world, see also chemical evolution).

The oldest found fossil traces of organisms are microscopic “threads”, which are considered as remnants of Cyanobakterien. Howeverbecome these in 3,5 billion Years old rocks found deposits not generally as traces of lives outstandingly.

Newer beginnings to the evolution theory assume the evolution sets not at the kind, but at the individual and its genes. (See Soziobiologie and behavior biology)

border questions

is regarded the cell as fundamental characteristic of organisms, is not counted to viruses to the organisms, since they are no cells and are not composed of cells. They do not have an own metabolism anddo not reproduce themselves also independently. Their Vermehrung takes place via landlord cells.

Viruses let themselves be crystallized for example. They consist of protein covering and nucleic acid core. There is degeneration from viruses under suitable test conditions to Viroiden. These exist then onlystillable from ble nucleic acid. One could call this Viroide “naked” viruses.

If one mixes such Viroide and their nut/mother viruses in a container, which one blows permanently nucleic acids and amino acids adds, then the Viroide increases faster than the genuineViruses. In order to remain infectious, the protein covering for it is no longer necessary. Out of the virus genom the part, which codes the covering, is lost.

However viruses are subjected by mutations and selection of the evolution, which in the broader sense againalso to many non--organisms applies: Thus are subject to the evolution, which applies also to physical, non-alive tools and machines according to the disputed Mem - theory also the non-physical ideas and thought.

The existence of the viruses could in the evolution on a transitiondo not refer to of “yet alive” too “alive”. However the viruses could developing also from “genuine” organisms like the bacteria.

Meanwhile succeeded, the sequence of the child paralysis virus in a DNA - synthesis apparatus artificially producing. (In the same wayone has already many further DNA and RNA - sections for genetic experiments produces). The DNA - Strand one transferred then into cells and it developed complete, artificial Polioviren.

systematics of the organisms

biological systematics try, a meaningfulTo provide grouping of all organisms. The highest stage is formed thereby by the domains. One differentiates three domains according to molecular-biological criteria: the actual bacteria (Bacteria), the Archaeen (Archaea), in former times also Archaebakterien mentioned and the Eukaryoten (Eucaryota). The latter domain coversus trusted animal, plants and mushrooms as well as the Protisten.

organisms as systems

the genetic program

like the complex physical systems of dead nature (like for example the solar system) develop alsowith organism structures by self organization. Beyond that however an element, which only organisms exhibit, is missing to all systems of dead nature and the technology: The genetic program. Life procedures are released, steered and regulated by this program. In addition belongs alsothe reproduction of this program. This program is teleonomisch, without being able to be teleologisch: It gives the direction of the ontogonetischen development and the behavior of the organisms and distinguishes it within a certain framework from other growth prospects and behaviors.If parts of the program are missing or if they exhibit malfunctionings, - within a range of tolerance - no lebensfähigen organisms can develop.

Also technical systems exhibit programs, which enable them to steer their behavior automatically. These programs however always becomefrom external programmers develops and implements. Even if it should in the future possible to design itself reproducing automats their program nevertheless always becomes by natural evolution, thus without interference of humans, further developed, this technical programof the genetic program by its to differentiate from system external „programmers “independent, development in the course of 3.8 billion years its.

characteristics of organism

these characteristics can be to own also dead systems of nature and the technology.

Organismare open in the terminology

  • of the system theory: They stand in lifelong energy -, material - and information exchange with the environment.
  • dynamically: They are at least subjected on the biochemical level lasting changes, can take however occasionally a stationary condition,exhibit thus a Konstanz of structure and achievement. These changes are on the one hand on the system inherent conditions to lead back (example: Production of genetic variation by recombination with the reproduction), on the other hand by environmental influences. Organisms retroact again on their environment changing.(Example: Change of the composition of the atmosphere by photosynthesis.)
  • deterministically: Even if all characteristics of the organisms are certain by the laws of nature, hardly mathematically accurate statements about those leave themselves due to their complexity particularly for emergente characteristicsPredictableness of their characteristics and development and their behavior make: By the reduction necessary for scientific investigations regularities for individual elements can be determined. From this however always regularities for the overall system cannot be derived.
  • stably and adaptive: Organismcan despite disturbing influences from the environment its structure and its internal environment for longer time keep upright. On the other hand they can change also in structure and behavior and adapt environmental changes.
  • autopoietisch: Organisms are itself making a replication systems, howon the one hand continuity by structure and achievement during long periods is away ensured, on the other hand by the inaccuracy of the Replikation possibilities for the evolutionary adjustment at environmental changes exists.
  • selfly-sufficient: Organisms are independent up to a certain degree of the environment. (Seein addition the discussion of the problem of the autarcy.)


these organization forms can be to own also dead systems of nature and the technology.

  • As complex e, heterogeneous systems consist organisms of many elements of different structure and function,by numerous, different reciprocal effects are linked with one another.
  • Organisms are similarly structured: They consist of numerous differently elements (subsystems), which are linked with one another by numerous relations and exist even numerous subunits. those again systems represent and outSubsystems exist (for example organs consist these of cells, contain Organelle, which out bio molecules are developed)
  • you are also even again elements of complex systems of higher order (for example family federation, population, Biozönose), are thus likewise with numerous further systems (othersLiving nature, dead and technical systems) links all
  • organisms with one another is systems with special information courses and information memory.

problem areas

definition of the borders

natural one borders result in the case of the view of individuals as system. Here is thoseoutermost border in the long run cell membrane, Pellikula, cell wall or another wrapping and limiting structure. With higher organization stages conclusion and cover fabric (epidermis, epithelium , skin , crust ) take over this function.

Many organisms give materialsto the environment off and create themselves thereby an own environment at close range, a micro environment. Example: Schleimkapsel of Pneumococcus. Here the demarcation of the system depends on the question.

definition of the individual

the term individual means afterits latin origin an indivisible. In this meaning the term is not practicable for all organisms. One cannot divide most higher animals, without killing it or the separated part thereby. A dog as an individual to respond is thereforeno problem.

From a “individual” tree one can have a folder compartments and this grown up against it to a new copy. Many plants avail themselves of this procedure of the propagation even systematically, e.g. by folders. Often so whole lawns or forests grownear, which actually belong to a only one connected copy, which could be divided however at any time in arbitrary place.

From the possibility of cloning the logical ability results for the separation of a new lebensfähigen copy also even for mammals. Thus the term becomesIndividual for biology more or less void and would have to be replaced by another word, which meets better, which was meant, about “copy”.

With Schleimpilzen and colony-forming single-celled organisms (example Eudorina), individual, self-sufficient cells can be differentiated. They gobut at least occasional connections, into which it its individuality and independence give up, thus a more-cellular organism resemble with one another.


can speak autarcy due to the complex reciprocal effects of organisms with their environment only reduced of autarcy:

  • Like that organisms are never self-sufficient concerning the energy, them are always dependent on an external energy source, which is given by the sun in the long run. Organisms, which need light or the chemical energy of inorganic materials as energy source only, thus not on othersOrganisms as energy suppliers are dependent, can as energetically self-sufficient be regarded.
  • Autotrophe organisms are materially self-sufficient in the sense, when they make body-own organic materials of inorganic materials and diminish these in the metabolism again to inorganic materials. Thus leaves itselfa photo-synthetically active plant in a glass container with sufficient lighting, locked by the ambient air, alive receive, since an equilibrium between photosynthesis and respiration can adjust itself. Growth and Vermehrung are in this system however only so long possible howthe supply of water and feeding salts is sufficient.Heterotrophe organisms are not self-sufficient in this sense, since they are dependent on the nutrients prefabricated by other organisms.
  • Superordinate systems like for example a partnership (Biozönose) can do again energetic andmaterial autarcy achieve, if certain groups of organisms are present in sufficient number and with a balanced raterate rate. (See in addition ecological equilibrium.) so a self-sufficient partnership between chemoautotrophen bacteria, tube worms , cancers and fish has itself in the deep sea trained. The ecology examines among other things, an final partnership which minimum requirements must fulfill to make possible in order to be self-sufficient, i.e. a closed material cycle. In the long run the whole of all organisms of the earth can be understood as a self-sufficient partnership (compares in additionthe Gaia hypothesis, those, the earth as an organism understands.)
  • all organisms is self-sufficient concerning the system an inherent program, the genetic system. Thus they can their life procedures release, steer and regulate. (see system performance). (In this sense would bealso viruses and Viroide selfly-sufficient, their program is however not complete, it are dependent also on the programs of their landlords). This autarcy is to that extent complete, and programming, thus the production of the genetic source code not from the outside, throughone „programmers of higher order “, to be made must. On the other hand the programs are not sufficient, in order to determine all life procedures: So for example the brain without influence of the environment cannot develop completely. In complete darkness the Sehrinde did not becometheir full operability attain.
  • All organisms are self-sufficient concerning growth, repair and reproduction. They manufacture the resources characteristic of it (bio molecules, Zellorganelle, cells) even, resemble by repair mechanisms structural disturbances within certain limitsautomatically out and are able to manufacture similar copies of itself. The production of identical copies is possible in principle due to physical and chemical regularities on no system level. The variation inevitable thereby specifies in cooperating with the environment to evolutionall system levels. (see in addition system theory of the evolution)

with the development of the system theory by physicists, mathematicians and technicians these always entered analogies structure and behavior of organisms. This view of organisms as systems led to the fact thatConcepts of the cybernetics, computer science and the system theory entrance into biology found, last and comprehensively in the system theory of the evolution.

thermodynamic definition

organism are always far as open systems time of their existence from the thermodynamic Equilibrium removes. They exhibit a high order degree and thus a low entropy. These can be maintained only by the fact that the increase of the order degree is coupled energetically with processes, which supply the for this necessary energy. (Example: Structure of organic materialslow entropy such as glucose, DNA or ATP, from inorganic materials of high entropy such as carbon dioxide, water and mineral salts by photosynthesis and metabolism.), the thermodynamic equilibrium does not stop itself footstep death, the high order degree can more to be maintained, the entropy becomes larger.

organism from the view of the information

an organism is a cellbased, information-steered and - processing code system. A life is a time-limited ability of this code system, the semantic information contained in it toouse and to pass on.

see also

Wikiquote: Organism - quotations

portal organism


  • Hans Joachim Flechtner: Fundamental ideas of the cybernetics, 1970
  • Anna Maria Hennen: The shape of the organisms.Attempt of an explanation in the sense of aristotelisch scholastischen philosophy. King living and Neumann, Würzburg 2000 ISBN 3-8260-1800-1

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Wiktionary: Organism - word origin, synonyms and translations

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