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Father of Biology – Scientist Aristotle

Scientist Aristotle (384 to 322 BC), Great thinker, Father of Biology born in 384 BC was recognized as an early Greek scientist-philosopher.
At the age of 17 he studied under Plato. Later Aristotle became a teacher to Alexander (who became Alexander the Great).

Scientist Aristotle developed a talent for keen observation on the structure of living beings. He was the first person to make dissections (i.e. cutting open) of animals.

H.G. Wells praised him as the first, natural historian.

Scientist Aristotle was perfect in biology but poor in physics; notwithstanding this, the influence of Aristotle’s thought reigned for 1,500 years.

Galileo Galilei (1564 to 1642) later disputed and discarded the till then highly-accepted Aristotelian theory of falling bodies, which argued that a two-pound weight will fall to the ground twice as fast as a one pound weight, based on his observation that a stone falls faster than a leaf (which is true, of course).

Galileo demonstrated in the presence of a huge gathering that both heavy and light objects of the same shape, say balls, took the same time to fall to the ground from the Leaning Tower of  Pisa – Paradox of Truth! Lo! Truth alone triumphs.

The public and even the Church criticized Galileo for challenging Aristotle’s theories.
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It was proved that Aristotle was woefully wrong in physics, in the above context.
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Copernican System opposed Aristotle’s view that the Earth was a fixed object (see Nicolaus Copernicus).

Scientist Aristotle recognized the ladder of nature, the way in which living beings are classified, i.e.taxonomy.

According to Scientist Aristotle, the universe was made up of five elements, water, air, fire, earth and heavens (sky).

This coincides with the much more ancient Indian interpretation.

Scientist Aristotle’s writings include:

  1. Logic — a proper tool of investigation.
  2. Physics — scientific study of the properties of matter and energy, e.g. heat, light, sound, magnetism, gravity and the relationship between them.
  3. Metaphysics —branch of philosophy detailing with the nature of existence, truth and knowledge.
  4. Natural sciences: Life sciences, Botany and Zoology.
  5. Ethics, science that deals with morals in life, rules of conduct and behaviour.
  6. Rhetoric and poetics.

Scientist Aristotle mustered about 1000 volunteers to travel through Greece and Asia collecting specimens of sea and land life (creatures), dissecting them and reporting their findings.

Thus Scientist Aristotle was a great man of science.

He was A rising tot legend’ – Aris tot le.

Scientist Aristotle’s achievements were great, though some of them were clouded with error.

Pioneers in the systematic organised study of biology :General Studies Question Bank CD

  1. Aristotle (384 to 322 BC) Father of Biology
  2. Theophrastus (370 to 285 BC) Father of Botany
  3. Hippocrates (460 to 377 BC) Father of Medicine

Importance of Biology to Mankind

  1. Medicine :  Parasitology, Microbiology.
  2. Eugenics :  The science of improvement of human genetic stock.
  3. Agriculture including horticulture.
  4. Growth of industries, e.g. fisheries, silk manufacture.
  5. Pollution control, environmental science.
  6. Genetics, embryology.


Greek  bios  life   -logy  combining  form indicating science.

biology, the science of living things: the life sciences botany, anatomy and physiology, zoology, etc.

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