Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
BIOLOGY, THE STUDY of life, has grown in complexity and comprehensiveness from its origins in antiquity. By the 20th century, biology was not a single science, but a group of subfields. Among the subfields was conservation biology, the discipline that sought to verify the reality of climate change and to stop it before it causes a mass extinction of species. In a number of ways, conservation is unique among the biological sciences. It is the science that is most conscious of global warming and of the need to arrest it. Biology had its first stirrings among the ancient Greeks; Aristotle was the pioneer. The founder of anatomical studies, Aristotle likely performed the first dissections. His study of anatomy presaged the work of French comparative anatomist Georges Cuvier. Aristotle also appears to have been the first taxonomist. His classification of marine invertebrates anticipated the work of Swedish taxonomist Carl Linneaus. As ...