The Most Well-Known Biologists of All the Time
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Biology is one of the most important fields of science since it is not only focused on the discoveries of the living organisms around us, but also our bodies and its vital processes. Biology is derived from bios (life) and logos (study) in Greek which gives it meaning as 'a study of life'.
Biology covers a broad range of different fields including anatomy, biotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, human genetics, marine biology, pathology, taxonomy, and zoology.
What is a Biologist?
A biologist is a scientist who focuses only on studying biology. They study living organisms from plants to animals, how it came to exist, how it functions, how it reproduces, how it looks, and what differentiates them from others.
Such a big deal, isn't it? Because of this, those biologists are often specialized only in one or two fields of biology. A biologist who studies marine biology becomes a marine biologist and focuses on studying fish and the life in the ocean. A biologist who focused on studying plants become a botanist. Those seen on the National Geographic TV program in Africa are the zoologists and wildlife biologists who study the wildlife animals and their ecosystems.
What does Biologist do?
Following the enhancement and development of technology through the years, biologists' jobs seem easier from time to time. Though, their dedications are mostly about spending time in a laboratory or office to do some scientific research. To see what exactly the top biologists ever discover, let's dive down to this article!
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Top 5 Biologists of All the Time and their Discoveries
Charles Darwin (1809 - 1882)
Sounds familiar? Yes, he is the one who proposed the theory of evolution, which later became known as 'Darwin Theory'. This theory starts from his decision to join the scientific voyage to sail around the world to study the natural science of the world. During this time, he observed and examined several areas including islands in the Pacific Ocean, South America, and Africa, which became the basis of his phenomenal book 'The Origin of Species'.
In the book, he explained his discoveries that all living things, including humans, adapt and modify themselves over time to suit the demand of the environment. This theory upsets many other scholars, and of course, the religious believers. Up until now, his theory still can heat a debate.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632 - 1723)
Have you ever wondered who on earth is genius enough to observe tiny living things under the microscope which all students mostly do in biology laboratories today? Yup, he is this Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.
Often labelled as 'The Father of Microbiology', he is the one who opens the door for microscopic observation.
Basically, he began the branch of microbiology and discovered the smallest living thing in this world by becoming the first person to see and describe bacteria in 1674 thanks to his self-modified microscope.
Van Leueuwenhoek died by suffering from a contraction of diaphragm, which was later called van Leeuwenhoek disease. Before his life ended, he described the disease that took his life.
Carl Linneaus (1707 - 1778)
Do not ever complain about the complexity of classifications of plants and animals since this system is the only one that makes sense of biodiversity. Linneaus invented the system called binomial nomenclature, where each of the species got their name in two parts. The first one is their generic name (genus) and the second is their specific name (species).
Linneaus is the one who gave names to humans as homo sapiens and put it in the animal kingdom alongside other animals. A century later, Darwin theory of evolution was actually influenced by this system.
His contribution is not limited to the taxonomy and naming after more than 12,000 species of plants and animals, but also in the study of ecology. He is the first person who described the relationship between living things with its environment.
Gregor Mendel (1822 - 1884)
Got your grandmother's nose and your father's eyes? Lucky us to have Mendel to discover the law of physical inheritance by our parents and grandparents!
Gregor Mendel discovered the traits which passed from one generation to the next by studying about pea plants. Funny, isn't it? Gregor Mendel's experiments involved 10,000 pea plants which he grew to see how the characteristic of these pea appeared consistently in their offspring. He regularly recorded the pea based on its height, pod shape, pea shape, and pea color.
Though his work was not accepted widely for about the next 30 years, this discovery paved the way for the discovery of DNA and genes. He is considered as a scientist who lived ahead of his time because his idea formed the modern synthesis, which gave a new understanding of genetics.
Aristotle (384 - 322 BCE)
Often exists in philosophy books with its wisdom quote, Aristotle was actually regarded as the Father of Biology. His theories may seem a little primitive in today's age, but his work was in fact a big quantum leap in building the basis of formal logic for humans.
Aristotle mainly studied the subject of zoology and marine biology during his stay on the island of Lesbos. He is the first person who discovered that the octopus can change its color when feeling disturbed.
That's the article about biologists, their job, and the top biologists of all the time! To study further about biology and its other branches, you can subscribe to Pijar Belajar now!
Branches of Biology, Team Leverage Edu, https://leverageedu.com/blog/branches-of-biology/#branches-of-biology-from-a-to-z, 2021
What is Biology, Alane Lim and Scott Dutfield, https://www.livescience.com/44549-what-is-biology.html, 2022
What did Charles Darwin Discover?, Your Dictionary, https://biography.yourdictionary.com/articles/what-did-charles-darwin-invent.html
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Antonie-van-Leeuwenhoek, 2022
Who was Linneaus?, The Linnean Society of London, https://www.linnean.org/learning/who-was-linnaeus/career-and-legacy