Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
History of Science - vol4

History of Science - vol4

Ratings: (0)|Views: 29|Likes:
Published by api-3771959

More info:

Published by: api-3771959 on Oct 16, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/18/2014

pdf

text

original

A HISTORY OF SCIENCE
BY HENRY SMITH WILLIAMS, M.D., LL.D.
ASSISTED BY EDWARD H. WILLIAMS, M.D.
IN FIVE VOLUMES
VOLUME IV.
MODERN DEVELOPMENT OF THE
CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Get any book for free on:www.Abika.com
History of Science
Get any book for free on: www.Abika.com
2
A HISTORY OF SCIENCE
BOOK IV
MODERN DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

AS regards chronology, the epoch covered in the present volume is
identical with that viewed in the preceding one. But now as
regards subject matter we pass on to those diverse phases of the
physical world which are the field of the chemist, and to those
yet more intricate processes which have to do with living
organisms. So radical are the changes here that we seem to be
entering new worlds; and yet, here as before, there are
intimations of the new discoveries away back in the Greek days.
The solution of the problem of respiration will remind us that
Anaxagoras half guessed the secret; and in those diversified
studies which tell us of the Daltonian atom in its wonderful
transmutations, we shall be reminded again of the Clazomenian
philosopher and his successor Democritus.

Yet we should press the analogy much too far were we to intimate
that the Greek of the elder day or any thinker of a more recent
period had penetrated, even in the vaguest way, all of the
mysteries that the nineteenth century has revealed in the fields
of chemistry and biology. At the very most the insight of those
great Greeks and of the wonderful seventeenth-century
philosophers who so often seemed on the verge of our later
discoveries did no more than vaguely anticipate their successors
of this later century. To gain an accurate, really specific

History of Science
Get any book for free on: www.Abika.com
3

knowledge of the properties of elementary bodies was reserved for
the chemists of a recent epoch. The vague Greek questionings as
to organic evolution were world-wide from the precise inductions
of a Darwin. If the mediaeval Arabian endeavored to dull the
knife of the surgeon with the use of drugs, his results hardly
merit to be termed even an anticipation of modern anaesthesia.
And when we speak of preventive medicine--of bacteriology in all
its phases--we have to do with a marvellous field of which no
previous generation of men had even the slightest inkling.

All in all, then, those that lie before us are perhaps the most
wonderful and the most fascinating of all the fields of science.
As the chapters of the preceding book carried us out into a
macrocosm of inconceivable magnitude, our present studies are to
reveal a microcosm of equally inconceivable smallness. As the
studies of the physicist attempted to reveal the very nature of
matter and of energy, we have now to seek the solution of the yet
more inscrutable problems of life and of mind.

I. THE PHLOGISTON THEORY IN CHEMISTRY

The development of the science of chemistry from the "science" of
alchemy is a striking example of the complete revolution in the
attitude of observers in the field of science. As has been
pointed out in a preceding chapter, the alchemist, having a
preconceived idea of how things should be, made all his

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->