A History of the Life Sciences, Revised and Expanded by Lois N. Magner

By Lois N. Magner

I skimmed this booklet for historical past info, and used to be inspired that Magner's didn't interpret and decide historical background on a latest technology foundation, yet fairly awarded and evaluated every one scientist as he handled the knowledge he had, answering the questions provided to him through the tradition during which he lived. Magner additionally did rather well explaining medical rules to me -- a slightly scientifically expert, yet non-science significant.

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Aristotle's goal was to find general principles that would allow scientists to organize many diverse organisms. He suggested the use of "essential traits" to form natural groups. It is the species rather than the individual that exhibits the essence that is eternal. Therefore, the philosopher must study the nature of the species and its specific characteristics. In other words, the philosopher must study the nature of man, rather than the accidents that make up a particular man such as Socrates or Aristotle.

Romantic poets later cast him in the role of heroic figure and champion of democracy. Like Pythagoras and Heraclitus, Empedocles inspired many legends. He allegedly boasted about his supernatural gifts, claiming to have the power to heal the sick, cure the infirmities of old age, raise the dead, change the direction of winds and rivers, and bring the rain and the sun. References to him in later medical writings suggest that he was a very successful physician, who reduced the burden of disease in his native city by draining the swamps, improving water supplies, and creating an opening in the mountains to admit the cool north wind.

This mechanism of perception was possible because all things, including plants and animals, earth, sea, and stones, give off subtle emanations of varying sizes. Effluences of particular sizes could fit into the pores or pas- Origins of the Life Sciences 19 sages of the various sense organs so that the meeting of elements, which constituted perception, could occur within the body. Consciousness and thought were also products of this sorting of the elements. Thought processes take place mainly in the sea of blood surging back and forth around the heart.

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