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BIO1130 PreDarwinian Keywords

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Jon Houseman

Bio Keywords Lecture 1 Ages of sand: Second way to look at modern age of science Given by Douglas Adams Four parts 1. sand in the form of glass was ground to form lenses that allowed humankind to look out into the distance and observe the universe and the planets of our solar system. Along with these observations are the findings we typically associate with the scientific revolution 2. second age is defined by the use of the glass lenses to look into the smaller world around us and begins with the invention of the microscope in the mid 1670’s. This new tool starts to unravel the detail of the cell, the fundamental unit of all living things 3. silica based computer chip of the 1960’s gives science, including Biology, access to computational strengths permitting the analysis of data and asking questions that were, until then, impossible to answer. Mathematical models of biological systems, ecosystem structures, even unraveling the evolutionary history of organisms becomes possible. As the silica chip becomes more affordable it becomes ubiquitous from hotel room doors to the desk of every student and scientist 4. use of glass in fiber optic cables, allowing the transmission of huge amounts of data and information at lightning speed around the world. But it is more than just the cable; it is how it is woven into the internet. Social and peer-to-peer networking allows for scientists and the other great thinkers of the world to work together on global scale problems. Al-Dinawari: Botanical sciences; catalogued plants Al-Baitar created a pharmaceutical catalogue of medicinal plants that once translated into Latin was in use until the 18 and 19 centuries Alhazen: first described the scientific method Al-Jahiz: Book of Animals” proposed the struggle for existence, the food chain and evolution Aristotle: First proposed great chain of being Student of plato; field of zoology one of the great philosophers of the period and among his surviving works is “The history of animals” tried to organize the living world in his scala naturae where the gods, were at the top of the great chain of being with humans underneath them. At the bottom was the inert world and the elements; and in between all the other types of living things Artificial Taxonomy: Plato and his students Aristotle and Theophrastus were the first to use artificial taxonomies write down the information contained in the folk taxonomies compiling lists of living things, (Aristotle the animals and Theophrastus the plants) ancient Greek texts were passed between generations and translated into Latin and Arabic becoming a reference tool used around the world By the time of the Roman Empire that extended over all of Western Europe, and around the Mediterranean these lists of natural things included animals and plants that were economically or medicinally important to the Empire. lists grew longer and were based on detailed descriptions of the objects being classified rather than unique names for the animals or plants. Avicenna: one of a number of Islamic scholars who advanced the natural sciences in the Muslim world during the Medieval ages; a time when Europe was in choas. th summary of Greek, Indian and Muslim medicine was used until the 17 century Binomen Linnaeus found a solution (to articifial taxonomy lists getting too long) and he took these great lists and reduced every unique organism in the list to a name with two parts – the binomen. The first word was the Genus the second the species epithet. The first word was a Latin noun, the second and adjective worked the same way we use common names now; only of course the language of the time was Latin Italics are used because the words of the binomen are in a different language from that of the main document Genus name always has a capital but never the species epithet Binomial nomenclature Consists of bionem of genus and species Created by Linneaus Classifies species Biogeography Study of geographic distributions of plants and animals Chronological prediction Not used in science Public’s opinion of prediction involves horoscopes and the foretelling of future events science uses logical prediction Classification: Governed by taxonomy Not used only by humans; ex. plants classify which pollen is theirs (only their own will initiate fertilization of ovule) As humans what we do that’s different is record these classification systems and pass them from one generation to the next; as words that were spoken or written down and read Control During experiments, problem is being able to control all the variables harder in the field, where other environmental variables also come into play. Obviously you may not see the same thing if you made your observations or manipulated the environment in the spring compared to the fall – unless you were looking at seasonality. Observations at the same time of year in years of drought compared to normal rainfall or identical habitats but with different levels of a pollutant are examples of looking for results while controlling the surrounding environmental variables. In short, you need to be able to see what happens when one variable changes against a background of other surrounding variables that you have no control over but need to be the same for each set of observations. precision of your measurements is also controlled by the accuracy of the tools you use The more measurements you make, the more the average of all the measurements will approximate the true value Cuvier (Georges) SEE NEXT LECTURE Catastrophe theory expanded Linnaean taxonomy by grouping classes into phyla and incorporating both fossils and living species into the classification established extinction as a fact proposed that new species were created after periodic catastrophic floods. In this way, Cuvier became the most influential proponent of catastrophism in geology in the early 19th century Deduction general to the specific – you know what will happen and test to see that it does. Opposite of induction “How” or “Why” questions are then asked and used as the test “How” questions deal with proximate causes while the why questions dig deeper and look for the fundamental underlying ultimate causes Empirical observation Observation based on experience; determined from experimental data, as opposed to theoretical Essentialism Greek philosophers all believed Plato’s ideal that all organisms were unchanged unique types and their differences could be attributed to a special internal “essence” Extinction Death of last individual in species or last species in a lineage Fact Once there is no longer any doubt, we now have a fact and not a theory Theory and hypothesis can both become facts after A LOT of testing general public often has problems because science is often reluctant to say that something has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and that theories should always be open to testing Folk Taxonomy Earliest form of classification, - passed on by word of mouth, - contained only 500 elements Great Chain of Being, developed by Aristotle as the scala naturae - organized things in a hierarchical order from God at top to inanimate objects at the bottom - i
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