Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Evolution, Models of
H. James Birx
Several major models have been used to represent organic evolution on earth. These models include the arc, line, spiral, circle, pyramid, and tree or bush or coral of life forms throughout biological history. Aristotle (384–322 BCE), the father of biology, including morphology and taxonomy, taught that plants and animals represent a hierarchical line of eternally fixed forms. These kinds of life range from the simplest plant to the most complex animal, with our own species, as the only rational being, at the apex of this planetary ladder of the living world. Aristotle's great chain of being, from global minerals to celestial stars, was not an evolutionary interpretation of this universe. Aristotle's worldview is grounded in the assumption that each type of life has a fixed essence. Consequently, this natural philosophy contributed to an antievolutionary view of organic history for nearly 2,000 years. Carolus Linnaeus (1707–1778), the father of modern taxonomy, ...