DREAMING UP NATURE | More Intelligent Life | this curious life | Scoop.it
The Music of Science:

Oliver Morton explains how psychoanalysis led a conflicted botanist to coin the term ecosystem...

 

'During the Great War a botanist at Cambridge University, Arthur Tansley, had a dream............

 

.............. the ecosystem, a term he coined in 1935, was his alternative [to prevailing 'holistic' models].

 

Like the human mind, it was dynamic and shaped by circumstances. It was composed not only of plants and animals, but also of their mineral substrates and the energy they used. And unlike the communities of holism, which had a pre-ordained endpoint, ecosystems were the product of the forces and flows that made them up.'