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Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's TreeThe Evolution of Visual Metaphors for Biological Order$
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J. Archibald

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164122

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164122.001.0001

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date: 25 September 2017

The Gilded Age of Evolutionary Trees

The Gilded Age of Evolutionary Trees

Chapter:
(p.113) Chapter Five The Gilded Age of Evolutionary Trees
Source:
Aristotle's Ladder, Darwin's Tree
Author(s):

J. David Archibald

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231164122.003.0005

This chapter examines how tree-like representations took on new meanings as an understanding of genetics and the importance of population-based studies emerged. Before Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, evolutionary trees of life were a novelty. After Darwin, they became a necessity, thanks to the foundations that he laid for “descent with modification by means of natural selection.” With the turn of the twentieth century, American scientists began to engage in the production and dissemination of phylogenetic trees. The science of paleontology began ascending in stature in the United States, especially in East Coast institutions. This chapter looks at some of the scientists who produced a variety of evolutionary trees guided by Darwin's precepts, particularly Ernst Haeckel. It also considers the trees produced by Max Fürbinger and the decline in audience interest in visual representations of trees.

Keywords:   genetics, Charles Darwin, evolutionary trees, phylogenetic trees, paleontology, scientists, Ernst Haeckel, Max Fürbinger, visual representations, evolution

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