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Theories on the Origin of Alternation: History of Conflict & Convergence

Keith E. Roe (Author)

ISBN: 0-7414-4118-7 ©2007
Price: $14.95
Book Size: 5.5'' x 8.5'' , 84 pages
Category/Subject: SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany

This book explains how two botanical theories evolved through speculation and confusion, how they converged, and what they came to mean. It also resolves the longstanding mystery of which is “correct.”

This essay reviews the evolution of two theories proposed in the late 19th century to explain the origin of alternate generations in plants, a crucial paleobotanical event leading to the earth’s dominant vegetation. The antithetic theory and the homologous theory were described well before vital scientific evidence was known that could have prevented their confusion for decades. They developed through argument and speculation, and the use of imprecise terms that often exacerbated misunderstandings. The story of their evolution may serve as an example of how scientific theories change, sometimes in ways that are not realized during the heat of debate.

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