Saturday, 12 March 2016

Statistics on Biology - please help

Friends I'd like some help collecting statistics. This is also an experiment using my blog as a tool. (I'm also doing this on Facebook). You may remember terms like species, genera, order, phyla etc from school biology. In the comments section please answer the following.
A. What's the highest level of category of Living Things which you can remember?
B. How many subdivisions of that level are there, what are they? List them please. (Not the hierarchy from highest to lowest)
C. Now this is mainly what i want. Look up your son's or daughters science or biology text book. Now list those answers, with your 1. city/country 2. Board of education, abbreviation will do. CBSE, state etc. 3. Class in which your son or daughter is studying. 4. Answers to A and B as listed in that book.
For A & B **Please** don't look up Wikipedia, or biology websites to answer these. I want to know what *you studied* in school, NOT what you learnt afterwards
If you still have some textbook from your school, that will be fantastic.


  1. I studied in Tamil medium about 3.75 decades back. wherein the 'binomial nomenclature system' was 'இரட்டைப் பெயரிடும் முறை' - and I knew that our 7th standard textbooks were grossly incorrect & not uptodate, even then.

    A. The highest level of category of Living Things that I remember as per my text is - Living Things = உயிர் வாழ்வன

    B. It just had two Kingdoms under it - Plantae, Animalia - தாவரங்களின் ராஜ்ஜியம், விலங்குகளின் ராஜ்ஜியம் - it never had others for Protista, Monera and Fungi

    These translations sound horrendous, but, that's how we studied our half-baked tamilnadu textbook society books!


    My son is being 'home schooled' and therefore I do not know whether the data set that I am submitting is useful to you. However, here it is, for whatever it is worth.

    City: currently, Bangalore.
    Board: Nothing,
    Class: One can say that he is in 6th grade equivalent.
    Books: We use a variety of books - but for Binomial Nomenclature system alone, we use a particular book: Living Things - How to know them (H E Jacques), pictured key nature series. 1947,

    This book has info as in: Living things->> five kingdoms as above; since the book is very old, it does not talk about domains and stuff. But it is okay for us and is treated as a bible, in the sense that kingdoms down, it is pretty good and we use it profusely.

  2. Karthikeyan Sundararajan

    A: single Cell and Multi cell
    B: I am not remembering any sub divisions ..
    I remember something - Protozoa

    C: 1.St. Louis / USA
    2. Parkway School District - Public school
    3. Daughter studying 9th Grade
    4.A eukaryotes and prokaryotes.
    4.B : 7 subdivisions
    kingdom, phylum, classes, order, families, genus, and species .

  3. ramasami: Thank you very much, sir. Fascinating - that you are home schooling. That book also looks quite interesting.

    karthi: Thank you! Very concise.

  4. This is from memory only, so probably inaccurate. I studied biology in the early & mid 70s, and I remember the highest classification as either two (plants and animals - obviously there were more formal names that I don't remember), or three (plants, animals, and a third category that included fungi). Animals were divided into single-cell and multicellular organisms, with the latter being divided into vertebrates (5 subcategories) and invertebrates (10 or 12 subcategories, not sure).

    It is definitely a pity that science is presented as truth rather than best-fit models, and there is minimal mention of ideas such as the inherent arbitrariness of classification systems. Education and scientists do their best to make science a religion (Truth one is expected to believe in) rather than a socially constructed and evolving explanation system - we are not encouraged to realize that science is primarily about selecting candidate models that we find sufficiently convincing and useful (like elections are supposed to be!).