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Natural Science JSA Lecture

Natural Science JSA Lecture - Natural Science Lecture#1...

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Natural Science Lecture #1 The History of an Idea 10/09/2007 09:54:00 Early History of Biology Biodiversity and Classification o Complex Anatomy Meaningful Structure Form follows function  how impact affects form and  function Observable, but how does it come together? o Unifying theme of biological study: EVOLUTION o How did philosophies of biological change originate and change over  time? o How to explain biodiversity? Open question Led to early models of classification Unit of classification: SPECIES Aristotle (384-322 BC) o Part of Greek naturalism (seeking rational explanations for physical  phenomena) o The first person to (attempt) classify organisms o Formed groups of organisms after examining them anatomically o Different anatomy = different classification o Ranked organisms from simple to complex: The Scala Naturae
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A ranking system based on naked eye view of anatomical  complexity Plato's essentialism  everything created for a place, or  rank Species are external because each species breeds true  to form i.e., Fixity of Species Fixity of Species o Every species breeds true to form o Larson calls this “the traditional Aristotelean view of species” Dioscorides (40-90 CE) o Military doctor o Named plants in alphabetical order in classic work  De Materia Medica o Very widely used up to the Renaissance o Precursor to modern pharmacology o Naming and classification of plants by medicinal USE o Medieval copyists   WILD inaccuracies Christian World View o Importance of the revealed word (WORD, not evidence of the senses,  constituted reality) o Static world, of short duration o Fixity of species, special creation of individual species o Scala Naturae  adapted as Great Chain of Being James Ussher (1580-1665) o Archbishop of Armagh, one of the greatest scholars of his time o His library formed the nucleus of Trinity College, Dublin
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o World created on October 26, 4004 BCE (9am?) The Enlightenment o Intellectual revolution of the 15 th -18 th  centuries o Rediscovery of Greek writings o Protestant Reformation   interpretation by the individual o first steps towards people thinking on their own o Philosophies of Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes: scientific method,  empirical evidence, mechanical world view o What about Biology? European Voyages of Discovery o Part of commercial/trading revolution at the start of the Enlightenment  Era o New and strange species of plants and animals o How to classify them?
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