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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index G > Nehemiah Grew Quotes

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Nehemiah Grew
(baptised 26 Sep 1641 - 25 Mar 1712)

English botanist, physician and microscopist who was one of the founders of plant anatomy and a pioneer in microscopic studies. He was the first to publish the idea that a sexual function existed in the flowers of plants. He wrote Anatomy of Vegetables Begun (1672) and The Anatomy of Plants (1682).

Science Quotes by Nehemiah Grew (2 quotes)

[We need not think] that there is any Contradiction, when Philosophy teaches that to be done by Nature; which Religion, and the Sacred Scriptures, teach us to be done by God: no more, than to say, That the balance of a Watch is moved by the next Wheel, is to deny that Wheel, and the rest, to be moved by the Spring; and that both the Spring, and all the other Parts, are caused to move together by the Maker of them. So God may be truly the Cause of This Effect, although a Thousand other Causes should be supposed to intervene: For all Nature is as one Great Engine, made by, and held in His Hand.
— Nehemiah Grew
'An Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants', in The Anatomy of Plants With an Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants and Several Other Lectures Read Before the Royal Society (1682),80.
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First, by what means it is that a Plant, or any Part of it, comes to Grow, a Seed to put forth a Root and Trunk... How the Aliment by which a Plant is fed, is duly prepared in its several Parts ... How not only their Sizes, but also their Shapes are so exceedingly various ... Then to inquire, What should be the reason of their various Motions; that the Root should descend; that its descent should sometimes be perpendicular, sometimes more level: That the Trunk doth ascend, and that the ascent thereof, as to the space of Time wherein it is made, is of different measures... Further, what may be the Causes as of the Seasons of their Growth; so of the Periods of their Lives; some being Annual, others Biennial, others Perennial ... what manner the Seed is prepared, formed and fitted for Propagation.
— Nehemiah Grew
'An Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants', in The Anatomy of Plants With an Idea of a Philosophical History of Plants and Several Other Lectures Read Before the Royal Society (1682), 3-4.
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See also:
  • 26 Sep - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Grew's baptism.
  • Nehemiah Grew: A Study and Bibliography of His Writings, by William Lefanu. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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