space San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature Connection[Museum Webcasts]

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Tree of Life: Perceptions of the History of Life Before and After Darwin
Lecture with J. David Archibald, Ph.D., Curator of Mammals, San Diego State University Vertebrate Collections

The history of life is commonly represented either as a ladder (scala naturae) or a tree. Although commonly associated with Charles Darwin, representations of the tree of life predate by many years the publication in 1859 of On the Origin of Species. Darwin used trees in his private notebooks over 20 years prior, but it was Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who first published an evolutionary tree of life in 1809. As strange as it may seem, trees of life in the 19th century did not always represent evolution. A number of these trees represented instead multiple creations. Discover the iconography of both evolutionary and creationist trees of life that almost certainly finds its roots in trees.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009