B A English – Ecology and Community by Fritjof Capra

1. What is Ecology?

Ans .. Ecology is the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings.

2. What are the developments in the discovery process of the ecological organization? 

Ans .. Systematic observation of the way different species co-exist with each other started in the 1920s. I8t was seen how large fishes fed on small fishes, and very large marine animals like the shark and the whale fed on large fishes. Thus, the concept of ‘food chain’ was established. Soon, it was observed that the dead whales and sharks rot releasing huge amounts of bacteria and insects that the small fishes consume as their food.  Thus, a ‘cycle’ of food was seen to exist in the sea.

Later, it was observed that these ‘food cycles’ were linked to other food cycles thus forming a ‘web’ or ‘network’ of food production, consumption and recycling. This was a very important step towards understanding the ecosystem of earth.

3. Differentiate between the study of substance and the study of form.  

Ans .. Let us take the example of water vapor as a ‘substance’. It can take the ‘form’ of dark clouds, or steam coming out a pressure cooker, or the humidity in the atmosphere depending upon the temperature and pressure. In the same way, we can study Carbon as a ‘substance’. It can remain in the ‘form’ of black fine shoot, or coal lumps, or electrodes, or even bright diamond. Thus, substance can be one item chemically, but its form mighty vary according to physical conditions around it.

4. Describe the developments in the biological science from the ancient to the modern times.

Ans.. The study of Biology started with the study of organisms or species. In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, the species were classified using a very complex methodology. Later, the study shifted to cells. Thus, the branch of cellular biology was born. The study continued to delve deeper into the building of cells. It gave rise to the discovery of constituents like amino acids, proteins, enzymes etc. These were the macromolecules.

5. “Artists contributed significantly to the study of science” ………….. 

Ans .. The study of ‘pattern’ is an integral part of the study of science. We need to visualize and map to study pattern in science. Artists have an innate tendency to study and imagine patterns. Thus, artists, though belonging to a very different domain, contributed significantly to the study of science. This is why we find great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and the German poet Goethe contributing to scientific subjects like aeronautics, physics and biology. In conclusion, it can be argued that artists contributed to the study of science in a very important way

6. The author says ‘every living community is a learning community”……..   

Ans .. Every living community is a thriving hub of members who continuously interact with one another. In the process, they pick up skills to adjust to failures, adversities, and discords. Consequently, the community becomes stronger and more robust. This is learning experience that has long term benefits.

On the other hand, communities that refuse to learn become weaker and tend to perish over a period of time. 

7.  These two questions are often asked by people. ……. Ans. …… The essence of life can be explained by stating that life is a network that can organize itself. This idea helps us to understand how we breathe, or how our wounds heal, or how an embryo develops to become an organism. Thus, ‘self-organization is the essence of life, and it’s connected to the network system.

Q8. What are the author’s answers to these questions?

Ans .. As stated above

Q9. Define an eco-system where there is no waste.

Ans ….

——————————-To be posted later——————

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