Question Video: Understanding the Benefits of Classifying Organisms into Groups | Nagwa Question Video: Understanding the Benefits of Classifying Organisms into Groups | Nagwa

Question Video: Understanding the Benefits of Classifying Organisms into Groups Biology • First Year of Secondary School

Why is it beneficial for scientists to classify organisms into distinct groups like kingdoms?

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Video Transcript

Why is it beneficial for scientists to classify organisms into distinct groups like kingdoms? (A) It prevents interbreeding between different groups of organisms. (B) It helps identify the genomes of extinct species. (C) It allows comparisons between different groups to be made more easily. Or (D) it helps evolutionary biologists determine when new species will arise.

This question is asking, why do we classify organisms into distinct groups? How does science benefit from organization systems like this? Clearly, systems of classification, like grouping organisms into kingdoms, is important, which is why they’ve been reimagined so many times throughout history and continue to be refined today. Let’s take a look at the answer choices and determine which is the most beneficial reason for grouping organisms into kingdoms.

Classifying organisms into groups does nothing to prevent them from interbreeding; it is merely a scientific tool that categorizes them based on observable features. Therefore, answer (A), it prevents interbreeding between different groups of organisms, is incorrect.

Answer (B) claims that classifying organisms into kingdoms helps identify the genomes, in other words all of the genetic material, of extinct species, but this is not true. Let’s look at an example within kingdom Animalia, which contains millions of different animals with sometimes very different genomes. An extinct species might be classified in the kingdom Animalia because a spine is identified in fossils of individuals belonging to this species, but this classification does not help us to identify the genome of the extinct species. Therefore, we can eliminate option (B).

Scientists, even evolutionary biologists, cannot accurately predict when a new species will arise. The process of natural selection takes much time and trial and error to produce new distinct species. We can also eliminate answer (D), as classifying organisms won’t necessarily help us to determine when new species will arise.

What classifying organisms based on meaningful similarities or differences in their observable characteristics allows us to do is to more easily compare and contrast them. The correct answer to the question about the benefits of classification is therefore (C). It allows comparisons between different groups to be made more easily.

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