Botany (Classic Reprint)by Herbert M. Richards
Excerpt from Botany
What is the content and scope of the science of botany? Popular opinion will answer somewhat easily: Botany consists in the gathering of plants, and the dismembering of them, in connection with the use of a complicated terminology. That is the beginning and end of botany as it is understood by the majority; there is nothing more to be said.… See more details below
Excerpt from Botany
What is the content and scope of the science of botany? Popular opinion will answer somewhat easily: Botany consists in the gathering of plants, and the dismembering of them, in connection with the use of a complicated terminology. That is the beginning and end of botany as it is understood by the majority; there is nothing more to be said. In consequence, the employment of the botanist seems so trivial, so very remote from important human interests that no second thought is given to it. The conception formed in ignorance is continued in ignorance. Even the zoologist is at an advantage, for the public is finally forced to admit that it does not know what he is about, while it understands the botanist very well. He is quite hopeless, for, while flowers may be pretty things to pick, they should not be pulled to pieces, and if he does not happen to be interested in dissecting flowers he is not a botanist but simply a fraud.
Far from being remote, the study of plants comes very close to human interests. One has but to stop to think that plants are the great energy source for man himself and the animals upon which his well-being depends, to recognize that a careful study of their manner of life, the conditions which favor or hinder their growth is of the very first importance.
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