New PDF release: The Epic History of Biology

By Anthony Serafini

ISBN-10: 0306445115

ISBN-13: 9780306445118

ISBN-10: 1489963278

ISBN-13: 9781489963277

The look for our elusive human origins and an figuring out of the mysteries of the human physique have challenged the main inquisitive and imaginitive thinkers from Egyptian instances in the course of the 20th century. within the Epic heritage of Biology, Anthony Serafini - a exclusive thinker and historian of technological know-how - regales the reader with the triumphs and screw ups of the geniuses of the lifestyles sciences. The subtleties of the animal country - anatomy, zoology, and replica - in addition to the complexities of the plant country, have involved humanity way back to 5000 years in the past. staggering historical wisdom of the arcane curing powers of herbs in addition to early experimentation with diverse chemical combos for such reasons as mummification ended in trendy organic expertise. cutting edge pioneers equivalent to Aristotle, Galen, Hippocrates, and Vesalius challenged the bounds of information and single-mindedly pursued their paintings, frequently within the face of blind superstition. In fabulous, lyrical prose Serafini recreates the tips and theories of those revolutionaries from precedent days via this present day, opposed to the backdrop of the dogma and prejudices in their time. He explores the encouraged revelations that gave delivery to such discoveries because the arguable conception of evolution, the standard origins of genetics, the glorious predictions of quantum mechanics, and the endless promise of laptop know-how. Even this present day the organic sciences are present process fast and kaleidoscopic alterations. each new perception supplies upward push to a myriad of latest moral questions and duties. The Epic background of Biology confronts those concerns head on and predicts the wondrous new instructions biology will follow.

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Although his reports of the various anatomical parts of the digestive processes are roughly accurate, he seemed utterly confused about the phYSiology of digestion. His analogy here was apparently with cooking, which, given the purpose of digestion, is more or less understandable. He believed that the intestines "baked" the food and that the heart aided it in this process. 38 Chapter 3 He also tried to explain the brain and nervous system, but had scant success. " He does describe the anatomy of the ear reasonably well and makes a valiant effort at describing the functioning of the eye, believing that the "moisture" of the eye acts as the target for visual impressions emanating from the environment-more or less following the lead of Empedocles here.

They appear to have been aware of the optic nerve, though they had only a hazy conception of its function. Although they knew nothing of the function of the lens, they did recognize and describe the iris and the pupil, as well as what anatomists today call the vitreous and aqueous humors. They gained the Greek Medicine 41 same level of understanding of the human ear. They knew about and described fairly accurately the auditory canal and the ear drum, but again had only the haziest understanding of their functions.

He analyzed sleep also as due to a loss of soul atoms. Consistent to the last, Democritus applied these ideas to illuminating the various diseases. He held that atoms colliding with the earth brought about epidemics and that inflammation of the nerves caused hydrophobia, an irrational fear of water. In short, Democritus was a surprisingly modern thinker. He used the scientific method and speculated about a number of biological processes-several of his conjectures being right on target, as when he expressly noted that the brain was the" organ" of deliberation and sentience.

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The Epic History of Biology by Anthony Serafini

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