A Short History of Biology by Isaac Asimov PDF

By Isaac Asimov

ISBN-10: 0313225834

ISBN-13: 9780313225833

In four hundred B.C., while Hippocrates wrote a e-book claiming that epilepsy, the “sacred disease,” was once a average sickness and never a visitation of demons, the technology if biology could be acknowledged to have started. because then, curious naturalists have studied animals and plans, medical professionals hae sought solutions to very useful questions. The technology of biology has grown—slowly first and foremost, preventing and beginning back, and development within the final century to a crescendo that has no longer but reached its peak.

This concise, authoritative publication strains the intriguing improvement of the technological know-how of existence, from the traditional Greeks in the course of the enormous success of Charles Darwin to the explosive development of molecular biology that's leading to today’s nice breakthroughs in genetics and drugs. Written by means of Isaac Asimov, affiliate Professor of Biochemistry at Boston college and writer of various books on technology, it is a hugely readable, vibrant creation to the background and ideas of biology.

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Sample text

These major divisions were not, actually, as good as those of Aristotle two thousand years before, but the systematic division and subdivision made up for that. The shortcomings were patched up easily enough later on. fishes, insects To first each species, Linnaeus gave a double the genus to which it name in Latin; belonged, then the specific name. This form of "binomial nomenclature" has been retained ever since and it has given the biologist an international language for life forms that has eliminated in- amounts of confusion.

In that same year, 1543, a second book was pubhshed; one as revolutionary for the biological sciences as Copernicus' book was to prove for the physical sciences. This second book was De Corporis Humani Fabrica ("On the Structure of the Human Body") and its author was a Belgian anatomist named Andreas Vesalius {1514-64). Vesalius was educated in the Netherlands in the strict tradition of Galen, for whom he always retained the greatest respect. However, he traveled to Italy once his education was complete and there he entered a more ter), victory of the liberal intellectual atmosphere.

This work had already caused him to think about the possibility of evolution and he had published his thinking on the subject as early as 1801 and then, in greater detail, in 1809 in a book called Zoological Philosophy. Lamarck suggested that organs grew in size of efficiency if used much during life, and degenerated if not used; and that this growth or degeneration could then be 1822, gigantic seven-volume passed on to the offspring. ") He used the then recently discovered giraffe as an ex- ample of what he meant.

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A Short History of Biology by Isaac Asimov

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