The goal of physiology is to explain the physical and chemical factors that are responsible for the origin, development, and progression of life. Each type of life, from the simple virus to the largest tree or the complicated human being, has its own functional characteristics. Therefore, the vast field of physiology can be divided into viral physiology, bacterial physiology, cellular physiology, plant physiology, human physiology, and many more subdivisions.
Human Physiology. In human physiology, we attempt to explain the specific characteristics and mechanisms of the human body that make it a living being. The very fact that we remain alive is almost beyond our control, for hunger makes us seek food and fear makes us seek refuge. Sensations of cold make us look for warmth. Other forces cause us to seek fellowship and to reproduce. Thus, the human being is actually an automaton, and the fact that we are sensing, feeling, and knowledgeable beings is part of this automatic sequence of life; these special attributes allow us to exist under widely varying conditions.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.