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Principles of Paleobotany

Nature volume 143, page 661 (22 April 1939) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THEY say the trouble with palseobotany is the number and plasticity of its theories; but these are only symptoms. The real trouble is its facts. To be sure, there are lots which are clearly enough established, but nearly all are incomplete; of the 60,000 fossil plant species which Darrah says have been described, perhaps not more than a dozen or two are known as fully as the fossil botanist can expect to know his material. The result is that nearly everything that can be said in a palæobotanical discussion is of doubtful relevance or equivocal. It is a situation offering splendid opportunities and rewards for research; but for the writing of a fairly short book it is beset with difficulties. However, Dr. Darrah believes in his task, for he writes near the beginning: “From 1885 to 1915 paleobotany underwent its modernization chiefly because of the appearance of the textbooks and reference books”.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/143661a0

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