The Epic History of Biology

Overview

The search for our elusive human origins and an understanding of the mysteries of the human body have challenged the most inquisitive and imaginative thinkers from Egyptian times through the twentieth century. In The Epic History of Biology, Anthony Serafini - a distinguished philosopher and historian of science - regales the reader with the triumphs and failures of the geniuses of the life sciences. The subtleties of the animal kingdom - anatomy, zoology, and reproduction - along with the complexities of the ...

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Overview

The search for our elusive human origins and an understanding of the mysteries of the human body have challenged the most inquisitive and imaginative thinkers from Egyptian times through the twentieth century. In The Epic History of Biology, Anthony Serafini - a distinguished philosopher and historian of science - regales the reader with the triumphs and failures of the geniuses of the life sciences. The subtleties of the animal kingdom - anatomy, zoology, and reproduction - along with the complexities of the plant kingdom, have fascinated humanity as far back as 5000 years ago. Astounding ancient knowledge of the arcane curing powers of herbs as well as early experimentation with different chemical combinations for such purposes as mummification led to today's biological technology. Innovative pioneers such as Aristotle, Galen, Hippocrates, and Vesalius challenged the limits of knowledge and single-mindedly pursued their work, often in the face of blind superstition. In superb, lyrical prose Serafini recreates the ideas and theories of these revolutionaries from ancient times through today, against the backdrop of the dogma and prejudices of their time. He explores the inspired revelations that gave birth to such discoveries as the controversial theory of evolution, the humble origins of genetics, the fantastic predictions of quantum mechanics, and the infinite promise of computer technology. Even today the biological sciences are undergoing rapid and kaleidoscopic changes. Every new insight gives rise to a myriad of new ethical questions and responsibilities. The Epic History of Biology confronts these issues head on and predicts the wondrous new directions biology will follow.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Philosopher and historian of science Serafini eloquently renders the triumphs and the failures of the pioneers of the life sciences from ancient times to the present. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306445118
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 406
  • Lexile: 1320L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 The Beginnings 1
Ch. 2 Mesopotamia 9
Ch. 3 Greek Medicine 15
Ch. 4 Rome 45
Ch. 5 The Middle Ages 55
Ch. 6 The Renaissance 59
Ch. 7 Pestilence in the Renaissance 69
Ch. 8 The Age of Vesalius 75
Ch. 9 The Harvey Era 89
Ch. 10 The Age of Newton 103
Ch. 11 The Microscope and Leeuwenhoek 111
Ch. 12 The Meeting of Biology and Chemistry 117
Ch. 13 Ray and the Emergence of Cell Theory 125
Ch. 14 The Age of Linnaeus and the Enlightenment 139
Ch. 15 Lamarck and His System 171
Ch. 16 The Rise of Paleontology 185
Ch. 17 Biology in the Victorian Era 195
Ch. 18 Darwin and His Age 209
Ch. 19 Embryology and Biochemistry in the Darwinian Era 233
Ch. 20 The Age of Pasteur and the Development of the Microscope 249
Ch. 21 Biology in the Twentieth Century 269
Ch. 22 T. H. Morgan and the Rise of Genetics 291
Ch. 23 On the Trail of DNA 331
Ch. 24 Evolution and Genetic Engineering 363
Epilogue 371
Endnotes 373
Index 377
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