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Early natural philosophers held that life on the earth is fundamentally dichotomous: all living things are either animals or plants. When microorganisms were discovered, they were divided in the same way. The large and motile ones were considered to be animals and the ones that appeared not to move, including the bacteria, were considered to be plants. As understanding of the microscopic world advanced it became apparent that a simple twofold classification would not suffice, and so additional categories were introduced: fungi, protozoa and bacteria. Ultimately, however, a new simplification took hold. It seemed that life might be dichotomous after all, but at a deeper level, namely in the structure of the living cell.
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