New PDF release: A History of the Life Sciences

By Lois N. Magner

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If forced to contend with apparently archaic, obsolete, and discarded biological theories, modern scientists might generously allow that previous generations of biologists struggled with questions that could not be answered with the tools then available. Thinking about the history of science can, however, provoke a more creative means of exercising critical analysis and imagination. Page xii Although science and technology are of fundamental importance in the complex modern world, there is a serious imbalance in our approach to a general education.

Chose water as his primary element. Thales, called the founder of Ionian natural philosophy by no less an authority than Aristotle, flourished at about the same time as Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, and Hippocrates. Although Thales apparently distinguished himself as a statesman, merchant, engineer, mathematician, astronomer, and a lover of knowledge, there was considerable uncertainty as to his written work even in antiquity. Some authorities said that he left no writings at all, but others claimed that he was the author of The Nautical Star Guide.

The history of science can be seen as evolving, like its subject matter, but in directions quite different from that taken by its ostensible substrate. During the past half-century, the history of science has undergone changes quite as profound as the changes in science itself. From a rigorous focus on the evolution of great ideas and the thought processes of great scientists, it has expanded to include new questions about the social, cultural, economic, and ideological context in which science and scientists are embedded.

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A History of the Life Sciences by Lois N. Magner


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