New arrivals. Animal, Vegetable, Mineral? Since the time of Aristotle, there had been a clear divide between the three kingdoms of animal, vegetable, and mineral. But by the eighteenth century, biological experiments, and the wide range of new creatures coming to Europe from across the world, challenged these neat divisions.
Abraham Trembley found that freshwater polyps grew into complete individuals when cut. This shocking discovery raised deep questions: was it a plant or an animal? And this was not the only conundrum. What of coral? Was it a rock or a living form? Did plants have sexes, like animals?
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The boundaries appeared to blur. And what did all this say about the nature of life itself? Were animals and plants soul-less, mechanical forms, as Descartes suggested? The debates raging across science played into some of the biggest and most controversial issues of Enlightenment Europe. In this book, Susannah Gibson explains how a study of pond slime could cause people to question the existence of the soul; observation of eggs could make a man doubt that God had created the world; how the discovery of the Venus fly-trap was linked to the French Revolution; and how interpretations of fossils could change our understanding of the Earth's history.
Using rigorous historical research, and a lively and readable style, this book vividly captures the big concerns of eighteenth-century science. And the debates concerning the divisions of life did not end there; they continue to have resonances in modern biology. She holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge on the history of the life sciences in the eighteenth century.
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Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?: How eighteenth-century science disrupted the natural order
Best For. Web, Tablet. Content Protection. Learn More. Flag as inappropriate. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. More related to biology. See more. Erik Nordenskiold. This work, which is here present in the English language, is based on a course of lectures given at the University of Helsingfors, Finland, during the academic year It is the author's intention to present a picture of the development of biological science throughout the ages, viewed in conjunction with the general cultural development of mankind.
Regarded thus as a link in the general history of culture, the problems of biology will, it is hoped, prove of interest not only to young university students, for whom this book is primarily intended, but also to a still wider public.
With regard to moderen times, for obvious reasons it has only been possible in such a brief history as this to give a very summary account of recent developments. Essay on Classification. Louis Agassiz. A major influence on the development of American scientific culture, Swiss-born Louis Agassiz —73 was one of the great scientists of his day. A student of anatomist Georges Cuvier, Agassiz adapted his teacher's pioneering techniques of comparative anatomy to paleontology, and he rose to prominence as a distinguished systematist, paleontologist, and educator.
Agassiz introduced science to ordinary citizens to an unprecedented degree; people around the world read his books, sent him specimens, and consulted his opinion. Agassiz was also a staunch opponent of the theory of evolution, and he was among the last of the reputable scientists who continued to reject the concept after the publication of The Origin of the Species. All of nature bore testimony to a divine plan, Agassiz believed, and he could not reconcile himself to a theory that did not invoke God's design. Ironically, his Essay on Classification provided Darwin and other evolutionists with evidence from the fossil record to support the theory of natural selection.
A treasure of historically valuable insights that contributed to the development of evolutionary biology, this volume introduced the landmark contention that paleontology, embryology, ecology, and biogeography are inextricably linked in classifications that reveal the true relationships between organisms. Its emphasis on advanced and original work gave major impetus to the study of science directly from nature, and it remains a classic of American scientific literature. The Nature of Life.
First published in , this book explains the main trends and problems in modern biological thought, at that time. It was based on lectures presented at the University College of the West Indies, Jamaica, in to members from different faculties and is therefore an accessible guide for all to the subject.
Mark B. This volume not only offers an intellectual biography of one of the most important biologists and social thinkers of the twentieth century but also illuminates the development of evolutionary studies in Russia and in the West. Theodosius Dobzhansky , a creator of the "evolutionary synthesis" and the author of its first modern statement, Genetics and the Origin of Species , founded modern Western population genetics and wrote many popular books on such topics as human evolution, race and racism, equality, and human destiny.
In this, the first book devoted to an analysis of the historical, scientific, and cultural dimensions of Dobzhansky's life and thought, an international group of historians, biologists, and philosophers addresses the full span of his career in Russia and the United States. Originally published in Philip J. The biologist Jacques Loeb helped to shape the practice of modern biological research through his radical emphasis on reductionist experimentation.
This biography traces his career and convincingly argues that Loeb's desire to control organisms, manifested in studies of both reproduction and animal behavior, contributed to a new self-image for biologists.
The author places Loeb's experiments and the controversies they generated in their intellectual and institutional contexts, tracing his influence on the development of behaviorism, genetics, and reproductive biology. Similar ebooks. Du Iz Tak? Candlewick Press, Eye for detail: Images of plants and animals in art and science, Reaktion Books, Field life: Science in the American west during the railroad era. University of Pittsburgh Press, Gardens of Court and Country: English Design, Yale University Press Publ.
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