The History of Taxonomy. Emily Javore. Taxonomy. Taxis : order or arrangement. Nomos : law or science. The practice and science of classification. More specifically, the classification of organisms. Emperor Shen Nung 2650 BC.
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Animals with blood –
Live-bearing (humans and mammals)
Egg-bearing (birds and fish)
Animals without blood –
Shelled and non-shelled crustaceans
Aristotle believed that creatures were arranged in a graded scale of perfection rising from plants on up to man.
He believed that species were fixed and unchanging, and this view persisted for the next two thousand years.
In the early 1500’s, voyages of expedition were taking place around the world (leading to the discovery of many new plants and animals that were before unknown).
Kingdoms down to Species, basing this
on their shared physical characteristics
Ex: Homo sapiens
and floral plants
relationships in taxonomy
The shift from traditional
taxonomy to cladistics first
occurred after evolution
and natural selection
were proposed by Charles
Darwin in The Origin of
Since the birth of molecular biology, similarities between organisms can be compared at the protein and DNA level (making cladistic taxonomy more precise than ever).