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Lecture 1 biology biologists and bioscience.doc

Course Code
BIO 1130
Jon Houseman
Study Guide

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Lecture 1: Biology, Biologists, and Bioscience
Slide 1:
-historical perspective on biology and the major events involved with biology
-scientific revolution is really only about the physical sciences (chemistry, math,
astronomy, physics etc.)
-biology is a young science (e.g: DNA was only discovered ~60 years ago)
-biology deals with processes, events, histories etc.
-biology is put down since it has no mathematical proofs and it is held back for a long
period of time
Slide 2:
-biology is impeded due to dominance of physical sciences which involved math and was
deemed acceptable
-many misconceptions about biology impede biological development
-natural science vs. physical science
Slide 3:
-"bio" referring to the biosphere
-biology is the science of life
-the word biology is only 115 years old
-first definition by Treviranus
-biologists were known as naturalists who observed and collected; "stamp collectors"
-scientific community did not consider naturalists to have same rigor as those compared to
math, physics etc.
Slide 4:
-6 major periods of time involving innovations/changes in science
-1000 years of Greek and Roman times
-they travelled the word and had massive networks of commerce and ability to
sponsor learning and knowledge; culture engaged in learning
-450 CE: complete crash, where Rome is sacked by Germanic tribes and all of the
knowledge disappears and is not practiced
-entry into the Medieval Ages
-16th century: recovery from Medieval Ages and entry into renaissance and there is
economy and knowledge blossoms again; scientific revolution and knowledge is key
-19th century: people question the tenants of biology
-20th century: understanding of biological principles
Slide 5:
400 BCE - 450 CE:
-wealth produces luxury = philosophers = knowledge and understanding

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-biology of the human body (condition of the human body)
-associated with medicine (Hippocratic oath)
-gathers descriptions and locations from travellers regarding land and animals
-allows for knowledge of diversity of animals
-creates the first compendium of animals and creates an inventory of biodiversity
-creates first inventory of plants to look for medicinal value and healing
properties, agricultural benefits etc.
-groups / organizes plants based on observations such as reproductive structures
(the way the plant flowers and generates seeds)
-provides a basis for the catalogue that Linnaeus creates later on
-known as the "father of taxonomy and classification" in terms of plants due to his
authoritative compendium
Slide 6:
-scala naturae: the great chain of being
-there are very important divinities who are at the top (God / deity) and below
them are the arch angels, angels, man, birds, land and ocean animals, plants,
worms and bugs, and the devil
essentialism: contains the essence of life with no chance for change and will not be
promoted along the scala naturae
Slide 7:
-450 CE - 16th century: The Medieval Ages
-the sack of Rome by Germanic Goth tribes mark the end of education (no one maintains
education, learning, and knowledge of language, books since no one can read the content)
-economic collapse and infrastructure collapses in Europe (no more communication, unity,
co-ordination etc.)
-600 CE: mini ice-age (volcanic eruption which alters Earth's atmosphere and temperature)
-agricultural collapse along with economic collapse
-massive death; all time is spent on trying to survive, leading to the collapse of education
and science
-takes 400 years for recovery
-1000-1300 CE: High Middle ages
-marks the come back of commerce, culture, knowledge (ie: the great cathedrals that are
built during this time period)
-religious institutions redistribute books
-arrival of the Black Plague in 1300 CE killing 1/2 to 2/3 of the population in Europe in 4

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-"ring around the rosy" in memory of this plague
-the late middle ages (1300 - 1500 CE) allows for commerce / exploration and allowing for
science to develop again (ie: exploration of Christopher Columbus)
Slide 8:
-while Europe was in its dark ages, the Muslim world was in its Gold ages
Al-Jahiz: discovers selectable traits based on breeding strategies (natural selection and
Al-Dinawari: adds 600 plants to Theophrastus' catalogue and discovers life cycles of those
plants and publishes it
Avicenna: takes all medical documents from Greek/Roman culture, Arab, Hindu etc and
creates the largest compendium of human medicine/biology and is used for 600 years
Al-Baitar: adds 1200 more plants and creates compendium and identifies 300 plants, foods
and drugs; his compendium is used as a pharmacological reference till 1800s
Abu al-abbas Al Nabati: carries out scientific method and experiments with structure and
-the Muslim golden ages are ended by Europeans during crusades
-knowledge is starting to return and biology is beginning
Slide 9:
-using knowledge from the Bible, it is said that everything was created at once (Oct 23,
4004 BCE) by a designer
Slide 10:
-the church/pope is able to fund science
-16th -18th century: scientific revolution occurs
-major scientists appear
Copernicus- defies scala naturae; man is not at the centre (this is considered heretical by
the church); publishes his findings after death to avoid ex-communication
Kepler- planets are elliptical
-basically, scientific revolution is based upon the physical world and not the biological
Slide 11:
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