A Bibliographic History of Biology Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure. ~ Charles Darwin

The History of Biology exhibit traces the study of the living world from ancient to modern times. This story is told citing rare books and early manuscripts found in the UO Special Collections. Although the concept of biology as a single coherent field arose in the 19th century, the biological sciences emerged from traditions of medicine and natural history reaching back to ancient Egyptian medicine and the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus in the ancient Greco-Roman world. This ancient work was further developed in the Middle Ages by Muslim physicians and scholars such as Avicenna. During the European Renaissance and early modern period, biological thought was revolutionized in Europe by a renewed interest in empiricism and the discovery of many novel organisms. Prominent in this movement were Vesalius and Harvey, who used experimentation and careful observation in physiology, and naturalists such as Linnaeus and Grew who began to classify the diversity of life and the development and behavior of organisms. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek revealed by means of microscopy the previously unknown world of microorganisms, and laying the groundwork for cell theory.