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ERIC Number: EJ758590
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Art & Evolution
Terry, Mark
Science Teacher, v72 n1 p22-25 Jan 2005
In this article, the author presents a two-week evolution unit for his biology class. He uses Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) as an example of an Enlightenment mind at work--in this case a woman recognized as one of the great artists and natural scientists of her time. Her representations of butterflies, caterpillars and their pupae, and the vegetation on which they are found are examples that show she was looking closely and intently at nature. Merian is a particularly good example of an Enlightenment individual because she not only rendered her subjects with great precision, she also included life cycle stages and food sources, linking insects and plants with ecological insight well over a century before the word "ecology" was first defined. The author uses Merian's work to inspire students to make careful drawings of anatomy, which raise questions that echo the evolutionary questions of the 19th century. Students learn that evolutionary science--whether based on old-fashioned natural history or modern ecology, genetics, and molecular biology--can be a profoundly rewarding aesthetic experience. A unit outline of this two-week interdisciplinary study of evolution is also included in this article. (Contains 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A