What is Classification in Science? - Definition & System

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  • 0:01 Why Classify?
  • 0:57 Classification System Named
  • 1:20 Organization of the System
  • 2:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Battista
In order to understand things in science, we need organization. Because science is such a large umbrella term, we have to organize it into different topics. Learn more about classification in science, and take a quiz to test your knowledge.

Why Classify?

We classify things in order to better understand them. For instance, how do we know that a 4-door sedan is different from a jet-ski? Both are large pieces of equipment that can move us from one place to another, yet they're obviously different. A sedan moves on land and is classified as a car, while a jet-ski moves on water and is classified as a watercraft. The classification of these objects helps us to put them in specific categories, so we know immediately what they do and how they are different from other objects.

We classify things in science as well. We do this to better understand objects, but also to help keep us organized. Keeping classifications organized allows for others to expand upon the work that scientists do in researching and experimenting. It also allows us to communicate with other scientists and researchers because we all understand how the classification system is broken down and arranged.

Classification System Named

We refer to the scientific classification system as taxonomy. It classifies everything in science into a number of different categories. There are a couple different forms of taxonomy. If you do a quick Google search of the term, you will find that taxonomy might apply to chemicals, animal species and more. One classic example of taxonomy is when it is used in referring to biology.

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