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History of Biology Exam 1


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Who believed the world begins in apeiron, and then fire, water, earth and air differentiate out of it?
Did Anaximander think that the universe would be followed by others?
Yes - Anaximander thought the universe was preceded by others, and that others would follow it.
When did Empedocles live, what was his view of nature, and what were the two forces he thought caused elements to move?
Empedocles lived from 492-432 BC
He had a materialist and central view of nature, and he thought love and hate caused elements to move.
Who was the originator of the four elements
Empedocles (492-432 BC)
Who did the Greeks call the father of natural philosophy?
Thales of Miletus (650-580 BC)
What were Thales teachings?
- Earth disc surrounded by water
- water beginning of all; fundamental element
- Primaary forces were consolidation and expansion;
Who was Thales disciple, and what did this person write?
Thales disciple was Anaximander, who wrote On Nature, the first poem (work) written on natural science
Was Empedocles a pre- or post-Aristotolean Greek?
Empedocles was a pre-Aristotlean Greek. He thought animals arose from earth, that we think with our blood, and that only rational thought is infallible.
When did Democritus live, who was his teacher, and what did he think?
Democritus lived 400-360 BC
Leucippus was his teacher, and Democritus believed, like Leucippus, that matter is discrete not continuous.
Who thought the soul consisted of fire atoms and that death and sleep were due to a loss of soul atoms?
Democritus. He thought that life and the soul are the same thing.
What did Democritus think about the heart, liver and brain?
Heart organ of courage, liver organ of sensuality and brain organ of thought.
Where was Hippocrates born, where did he travel, and practice?
Hippocrates (460-360) was born on Cos, travelled in Balkans and Asia Minor, and praciced on Cos (NE Greece)
Is Hippocratic medicine more enduring for its approach or content?
Talk about Hippocratic method
- observe all; study patient instead of disease; evaluate honestly; assist nature.
Briefly describe: coction, crisis, degeneration of humours, and pangenesis.
Coction - cooking process;
Crisis - (live/die) # of days after symptoms;
Degen. of humours - imbalance;
Pangenesis - inhert. of acquired characteristics
What did the early Greeks think about the brain?
Early Greeks thought brain was a radiator that cooled blood and separated mucous from blood.
When was Aristotle born, where, and where did he go to study?
Aristotle was born 384-322 BC in Macedonia, and went to Athen's to Plato's Academy to study - stayed for 20 years. He tutored Alexander the Great.
Who established the Lyceum?
Aristotle established the Lyceum.
How did Plato wreck biology for 2000 years?
Plato's theory of universals. He thought there were eternal, unchanging ideal forms. EG: Cows. Essentialist thinking. Ideal forms reality- variation in some sense an illusion.
How does modern biology differn from Platonic essentialist thinking?
Ideal forms are the illusion - variation is reality.
How did Plato think truth was revealed?
- thought, not observation, revealed truth.
Explain teleology
explanation in terms of purpose, especially a divinely established purpose.
How does Aristotle relate to biology?
1/4 of Aristotle's writings were biological; encyclopedist; interest in zoology, marine biology; liked an animal's particulars.
What is Eidos?
What is Catamenia?
Eidos - Form giving principle in semen. Fully cooked.

Catamenia - Matter. Menstrual blood. Half-cooked.
Who thought that each sp. had a list of essential characteristics? Explain this list.
Aristotle believed each spp had list of essential characteristics. 1. found in all members 2. found on in that particular spp. 3. that sp. couldn't survive w/o them
What did Aristotle think about Natural Groups?
Natural Groups - members have correlated attributes, ie: no. of walking legs, or middle ear bones. (these of course, do not lead to natural groups)
Explain Aristotle's Scale of Nature
Also called Great Chain of Being. Exclusive hierarchy - dominance by form, not matter. God only form.
Discuss Aristotle's view on:
dissection; anatomy; fish/whales; heart and brain; and food processing.
Dissections done; anatomy should be comparative; fish and whales distinct; heart seat of soul and intelligence; brain radiator; food cooked in gut.
How did Aristotle help and hinder biology?
He helped bio b/c intersted in organisms for their own right; He took them seriously and he studied them for their own right. He inhibited them b/c he was viewed as infallible. Fatally infected with Plato's idealism.
Who was the head of the Lyceum after Aristotle?
Theophrastus, student of Aristotle, was head of the Lyceum. (Lyceum had about 2,000 students, btw) lived 380-287 BC
Talk about Herophilus biology
- connections btwn brain, spinal cord and nerves;
- veins/arteries carried blood
- related pulse with health
Talk about library of Alexandria
700,000 scrolls at time of Cleopatra; had 'aggressive acquisitions policy'
Talk about Museum
House of Muses; had research labs, dissecting rooms, observatory, zoo, garden, and lecture and dining halls.
Who was the last named scholar in Alexandria?
Hypatia, mathmatician.
How were Herophilus and Erasistratus similar?
- both did vivisections
- thought blood synthesized from food and distributed via veins to body
- concept of pneuma
Explain how Erasistratus thought motion worked.
vital pneuma taken by arteries to brian, converted to animal spirits, carried in hollow nerves to muscles.
Who were some other famous Alexandrians?
Euclid- ancient geometer
Ptolemy - astronomer. epicycles.
Archimedes - "Eureka!" Math
Erastosthemes- calc. size of earth almost exactly (40,008 - he said 39,690 km)

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