Determination of the Vertebrate pedigree was a
particularly enigmatic problem for evolutionary morphologists
of the early post-Darwinian period. At that time,
practically no characteristics were known by which the
Vertebrates could be linked to any of the other animal
groups. Up to the 1850's, most research in embryology
The major historical studies that have examined American
biology have emphasized the development of experimental biology at
the end of the nineteenth century. In this characterization, the
descriptive branch of biology has often been treated as less than
important and, in several cases, as a hindrance in the application
During the years between 1930 and 1950 a number of attempts
were made to introduce techniques and ideas from cytology,
ecology, and genetics into the field of taxonomy. Advocates of
this "experimental taxonomy" believed that cytological, ecological,
and genetic techniques would provide a rigorous, objective
methodology to replace the traditional...
Karl Jordan (1861-1959) was an extraordinarily productive entomologist who influenced the development of systematics, entomology, and naturalists' theoretical framework as well as their practice. He has been a figure in existing accounts of the naturalist tradition between 1890 and 1940 that have defended the relative contribution of naturalists to the...
In their modern context questions of heredity have come to be
closely aligned with theories of evolution because all such theories
require the presence of heritable variation. Thus the need for an
understanding of a source of variation and a mechanism for its inheritance
became very apparent with the general...
The publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, truly a synthesized work of natural history, coincided with the emergence of specialized disciplines in the 19th century. This thesis aims to explore the relationship between the specialization of knowledge, in the form of disciplinization, and the reception of new...
By 1900 domestication was a promising, if somewhat vexed, subject in biology. Volumes had been written about domestication, but little serious scientific inquiry was directed toward the phenomenon. Expertise lay with practical men, primarily breeders and fanciers. The bulk of scientific commentary on domestication came from anthropologists who derived theories...
Mimicry, obscure colors, and secondary sexual colors were
important classes of observations that were analyzed by nineteenth
century biologists from several vantage points. Adherents of the
doctrine of special creation of fixed species believed animal colors
to be evidence of design; Darwin and Wallace and their successors
suggested that a...
There were two viable theories of generation, preformation
and epigenesis, existing in the Seventeenth and
Eighteenth Centuries. Due to their irreconcilable nature,
they were often at loggerheads during this time interval.
The status of these generation theories can be effectively
understood in terms of Thomas Kuhn's conception of preparadigm
At the beginning of the nineteenth century most theorizing British naturalists supported a Biblical account of the distribution of life which was based upon the notion that life had been dispersed from the resting place of the ark. This implied a relatively even dispersion of life about the Earth, but...