How is different from should they be synonyms?

Physiology: For questions regarding the functioning and activities of living organisms and their parts, including all physical and chemical processes.

Biology: For questions about living things. Does not exclude aliens, but additional information is usually necessary.

Are these different enough to justify separate tags?

  • $\begingroup$ The former seems to be a subset of the latter; either biology is descriptive enough or its other subsets should have their own tags too. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 21:35

1 Answer 1


Per the description it's no different.

Technically, physiology is a subset of biology which focuses on the mechanism of action for biological structures (anatomy) and specifically not the structures themselves. But the provided description blurs the definition to be nearly identical to biology.

I suggest we keep biology and nix physiology. Being a subset, there is no area which is mutually exclusive and I can't think of a case where someone would want to follow the physiology tag, but not the biology one. Or where that kind of specification is required via the tags.

  • $\begingroup$ That was my thought too but wanted to get a second opinion $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 21:36
  • $\begingroup$ Agreed, on Biology SE they would be separate but we aren't going to get that kind of detail here...nor is there really a need for it... $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Feb 25, 2016 at 21:50
  • $\begingroup$ Did a quick check. 33 physiology questions, only 6 of them currently have biology tagged on them as well. Synonym, rather than nix? $\endgroup$
    – Mourdos
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 2:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Mourdos I think so yes. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 9:55
  • $\begingroup$ Ok, since it met with general agreement I've done this. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Commented Feb 26, 2016 at 10:01

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