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Plato To Darwin To Dna – A Brief History

974 words - 4 pages

BIO 11 Lab
Queens College

This book has been molded to be a breakdown of how various fields in science have progressed over centuries as mankind has advanced. The book starts off introducing the idea that the telling of natural history has changed numerous times as humans have evolved. We also learn to agree that our knowledge has been shaped by the tools available and the perceptions of its users. In the earliest stages of life, Muehlbauer states “…observers of the natural world had only their senses to work with, and were limited to visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory descriptions perceived by the unaided human body” (pg. 1, Muehlbauer).
Something as simple as the “scientific process”, which is similar to the scientific method we learned in our first week of lecture, is proof of how we have outgrown earlier and more primitive attempts to differentiate between the true story. Humankind has progressed from an era in which religion used to be the ultimate answer to all of mankind’s questions. The skies would rumble when God was mad and crops would go bad due to curses by a higher power. The fight for knowledge through science has helped us as a species progress through this uphill battle to debunk the primitive explanations as to why the world exists in the way it does. From the invention of the wheel to the proof of evolution, we have come a long way over the centuries to get to where we are today. This book breaks it down, section by section, and begins to explain where we come from and how we got to where we are today.
In “Chapter 1 – The Ancient Philosophers Set the Stage” we learn that natural science was born from philosophy. We find that the idea of “natural law” was built by a succession of Greek philosophers that garnered concepts of the world thorough systematic observations. Thales as well as other known, and unknown, philosophers from his generations sought to find formulae to explain natural phenomena by looking for uniformity in a world of diversity. One of Thales’ most renounced findings include his discovery in geometric studies in the area reading the rules of triangles. He came to the conclusion that if the base angles of an isosceles triangle are equal, the sum of the angles of a triangle are equivalent to two right angles. With the application of “geometric principles to life situations, Thales was able to calculate the height of a pyramid by measuring its shadow, and the distance of a boat to the shore, by using the concept of similar triangles” (pg. 5, Muehlbauer). Realizations such as these helped shape the beginning for the formation of natural law based on observations of the world through explanation.
As the book progresses, we are introduced to the three most influential people on western biological thought that emerged from ancient Greece, and the classical world. First came Socrates (470 – 399 B.C.) who was...

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