Author: Jan Scholten
John Ray was an English naturalist who lived from 1627 to 1705. He wrote his name as John Wray.
He published important works on botany, zoology, and natural theology. His classification of plants in his Historia Plantarum, was an important step towards modern taxonomy. Ray rejected the system of dichotomous division by which species were classified according to a pre-conceived, either/or type system[further explanation needed], and instead classified plants according to similarities and differences that emerged from observation. He was the first to give a biological definition of the term species.
He was the first to distinguish between monocotyledons and dicotyledons.