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List the Hierarchy of Complexity

Large to small:

Organism is composed of organ systems

Organ systems composed of organs

Organs composed of tissues

Tissues composed of cells

Cells composed of organelles

Organelles composed of molecules

Molecules composed of atoms


Define Organism

A single, complete individual


Define Organ System

human body made of 11 organ systems


Define Organ

structure composed of two of more tissue types that work together to carry out a particular function


Define Tissue

a mass of similar cells and cell products that form discrete region of an organ and performs a specific function


Define cells

the smallest unit of an organism that carry out all the basic function of life


Define Organelles

microscopic structures in a cell that carry out its individual functions


Define Molecules

make up organelles and other cellular components. Macromolecules are proteins, carbohydrates, fats and DNA


Define Atoms

the smallest particles with unique chemical identities


What is Reductionism?

Theory that a large, complex system such as the human body can be understood by studying its simpler components.


What is Holism?

There are "emergent properties" of the whole organism that cannot be predicted from the properties of the separate parts.

Eg - humans are more than the sum of their parts. this is complementary theory to reductionism.