Evolution of Plants, History Of - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

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From Aristotle to Lamarck

This evolutionary worldview was put on hold by the theories of the great Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B. C. E.) and by his famous student Theophrastus (c. 372-287 B. C. E.), who is regarded as the father of scientific botany. They believed in a fixed or static universe, which saw all plants and animals as falling into discrete types or kinds organized in a well-defined, hierarchical scheme from lower to higher organisms. Aristotle called this organization of life, the scala naturae, or the ladder of creation. This view dominated natural philosophy and reached its fullest expression with the work of the great Swedish taxonomist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778). His reform of the taxonomic system was built on the idea that organisms such as plants fall into well-defined types. The Linnaean system follows this typological or essentialistic approach to the natural world by...

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This section contains 1,326 words
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Evolution of Plants, History Of from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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