John Hogg (biologist)

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John Hogg (1800–1869) was a British naturalist who wrote about amphibians, birds, plants, reptiles, and protists. In 1839 he became a member of the Royal Society.

John Hogg is credited with the creation of a fourth kingdom, accompanying Carl Linnaeus's Lapides, Plantae and Animalia, to classify Life, namely Protoctista.

Background[edit]

In 1735, the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus formalized living things into two supergroups, in his monumental Systema Naturae. All organisms were placed into the Kingdoms Plantae and Animalia. Linnaeus added a third kingdom of the natural world in 1766; Lapides (rocks). These were deemed to be similar to plants in that they were, neither living nor sentient, i.e. not having senses. They were further characterised as solid bodied.[1]

Fourth kingdom[edit]

In 1860, Hogg created a fourth kingdom, the Regnum Primigenum or Protoctista.[2] His rationale was simply that a kingdom of 'first beings' was necessary, as these entities were believed to have existed prior to plants and animals.

Hogg attempted to justify his arguments for a fourth kingdom with Spongilla, a freshwater green sponge, that was an animal known to exude oxygen in the light. However, the photosynthesis was later shown to be a result of symbiotic 'algae'.[3]

Such an attempt to apply non-reductionist thought to classification systems during a period of biological debate made Hogg a protagonist within the field of nineteenth century biology along with Ernst Haeckel and Charles Darwin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema Naturae: sive Regna Tria Naturae Systematice Proposita per Classes, Ordines, Genera et Species (12th ed.). Stockholm: Holmiae. 
  2. ^ Hogg, John (1860). "On the distinctions of a plant and an animal and on a fourth kingdom of Nature". Edinb N Phil J (N Ser). 12: 216–225. 
  3. ^ Taylor, F.J.R.‘Max’Taylor. "Research: The collapse of the two-kingdom system, the rise of protistology and the founding of the International Society for Evolutionary Protistology (ISEP)". Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  4. ^ IPNI.  J.Hogg.