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ZingPath: Introduction to Biology

The History of Biology

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Introduction to Biology

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Lesson Focus

The History of Biology


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You will discover new details about the nature of science, as well as the history of biological discovery from ancient times until today.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • List important scientists and their contributions to biology.
  • List milestone inventions in biology.

Everything You'll Have Covered

When and with whom did the written history of biology first begin?

~ The written history of biology first began with ancient Greek philosophers in the fourth and fifth centuries B.C.E..

Who was the first scientist to peer through a microscope and what was he looking at?

~ In 1665, English scientist Robert Hooke became the first to record observations using a microscope. During this landmark experiment, he looked at the cells in a piece of cork.

What important theory did English naturalist Charles Darwin propose in 1859?

~ Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution in his renowned book, On the Origin of Species.

What are three major breakthroughs that occurred in the field of genetics over the course of the twentieth century?

~ Three major breakthroughs that occurred in the field of genetics over the course of the twentieth century were the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953, the cloning of Dolly the sheep, and the Human Genome Project.

Although both Aristotle and Linnaeus worked to classify organisms, they developed different systems. Why?

~ After classifying organisms as either plants or animals, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle broke plants into three subgroups in line with their outward appearance: grasses, shrubs, and trees. He also grouped animals into three subgroups, according to their habitats: air, land, and water. But as scientific knowledge progressed through advances in observation techniques, in the eighteenth century botanist Carl Linnaeus developed the modern classification system that we use today, with some modifications. Like scientific knowledge, scientific theories are also subject to revision as new areas of science are developed.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with who Al-Jahiz, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, and Aristotle are.
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary Al-Jahiz, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Aristotle