Kingdoms, Empires, and Domains: The History of High-Level Biological Classification

£107.50

Available for Pre-order. Due April 2023.
Kingdoms, Empires, and Domains: The History of High-Level Biological Classification Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Oxford University Press Inc
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Pages: 816 Illustrations and other contents: 33 Language: English ISBN: 9780197643037 Categories: , , , , ,

A generation or two before Socrates, thinkers classified the world’s organisms into three categories: plants, animals, and man. However, Aristotle recognized that some organisms, such as sponges and sea-fans, share properties of both plants and animals. These became known as zoophytes. Since then, scientists have explored the idea of a “third kingdom.” In Kingdoms, Empires, and Domains, leading molecular systematist Mark A. Ragan offers a history of the idea that there is more to the living world than plants and animals. Progressing chronologically through philosophical, religious, literary, and other pre-scientific traditions, Ragan traces how transgressive creatures such as sponges, corals, algae, fungi, and diverse microscopic beings have been described, categorized, and understood throughout history. The book considers their appearance in early Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions; myths, legends, and traveller’s tales; occult literature; and more. Kingdoms, Empires, and Domains also details how the concept of a “third kingdom” has evolved throughout the history of scientific botany and zoology, and continues to evolve up to the present day. Kingdoms, Empires, and Domains features original translations of passages from key historical texts, many of which have never appeared in English before. It also draws on the most recent and reliable scientific literature. A sweeping, interdisciplinary study, Kingdoms, Empires, and Domains is essential reading for students and scholars of the history of biological classification and anyone interested in the history of ideas about the natural world.

Weight1.8717768 kg

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Author Biography

Mark A. Ragan is an emeritus professor at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at the University of Queensland. From 2000 to 2014, he served as founding head of IMB's Genomics and Computational Biology division. He concurrently served as founding director of the Australian Research Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and later co-founded QFAB Informatics. Ragan is co-author of A Biochemical Phylogeny of the Protists (Academic Press, 1978) and numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Cell, Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Microbiology, PNAS, and more. He is a former president and an honorary lifetime member of the International Seaweed Association and currently senior fellow of the Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Society.