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Development of Biology as a Science

Primitive Period (prehistoric times)


There was an uncritical accumulation of serving practical necessities such as food,
clothing, shelter, and substances as cure for ailments.
Knowledge gained was not yet recorded and the scientific method of inquiry was not yet
developed and used.
Classical Period (late BC to 1200AD)
Began with the rise of the Ancient Greek and Roman civilization and was marked by a
conscious effort and curiosity about natural phenomena.
*Hippocrates (Father of Medicine)- a particularly notable contributor in development of Biology
through his statement that human diseases are caused by factors in the environment and that our
body has the capacity to cure itself.
*Aristotle- refined the methods in observing the natural environment.
*Theophrastus-pioneered the study of plants.
*Galen-initiated the anatomical and physiological studies on different animals.
Dark Ages
Societies increased and became more complex, certain communities thought that
subjugating others would answer to meet such needs. This resulted into strife/wars, and thus, the
quest to knowledge fell into a period of lapse.
Renaissance period (14th to 16th century)
Literally meaning rebirth.
*Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo- artists who renewed the interest in the study of living
organisms particularly the structure of the human body.
*Johannes Guttenberg- invented the printing press which is impactful particularly to the speedy
dissemination of information.
*Andreas Vesalius- Published the book about human anatomy entitled The Structure of the
Human Body.
*William Harvey- Described blood circulation.
Modern Period (17th century-present)

*Anton Van Leeuwenhoek- Invented the microscope which led to the discovery of the cell as a
basic unit of life.
*Robert Hooke- established the Cell Theory
*Matthias Schleiden (botanist) and Theodore Schwann (zoologist) - Discovered that all plants
and animals are made up of cells.
*Francesco Redi and Lazzaro Spallanzani - Proved the Biogenesis Theory on the origin of life.
*Carollus Linnaeus (Father of Taxonomy)- Established the binomial system of nomenclature (the
giving of a genus and species name for each organism)
*Jean Baptiste de Lamarck- Explained the process of evolution through the Theory of
Inheritance of Acquired Characteristics.
*Charles Darwin- Established the Natural Selection Theory
*Louis Pasteur (Father of Modern Microboilogy)- Proved the existence of microorganisms.
*Claude Bernard and Johannes Muller- Established the field of comparative physiology.
*Karl von Baer- founded comparative embryology
*Gregor Mendel (Father of Genetics)- pioneered the study of heredity and variation.
*Hugo de Vries- formulated the Mutation Theory of Evolution
*E. H. Starling- explained the roles of hormones and modernized endocrinology
*Ernst Haeckel- stated that organisms are a product of their genetic composition and
environment. Modernized ecology.
*James Watson and Francis Crick- able to establish the three dimensional structure of genetic
material - DNA which modernized the science of molecular biology.