The basic principles of existence in the 19th century and their evolution in the modern world

A huge subject broken down into manageable chunks Random Quote of the Day: Empiricism is the idea that the origin of all knowledge is sense experience. It emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas, and argues that the only knowledge humans can have is a posteriori i.

The basic principles of existence in the 19th century and their evolution in the modern world

However, it was Linnaeus who used this system to name us Homo sapiens literally, "wise men". He also placed us in the order Primates a larger, more inclusive category than our genus along with all of the apes, monkeys, and prosimians.

This was very controversial at the time since it implied that people were part of nature, along with other animals and plants.

In addition, it meant that we were biologically closer to the other primates than to all other animals. Comte de Buffon Late in the 18th century, a small number of European scientists began to quietly suggest that life forms are not fixed. The wealthy French mathematician and naturalist, George Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffonactually said that living things do change through time.

He speculated that this was somehow a result of influences from the environment or even chance. He believed that the earth must be much older than years. Inin fact, he speculated that the earth must be at least 75, years old. He also suggested that humans and apes are related.

Buffon was careful to hide his radical views in a limited edition 44 volume natural history book series called Histoire Naturelle By doing this, he avoided broad public criticism.

Buffon was an early advocate of the Linnaean classification system. He was also a quiet pioneer in asserting that species can change over generations. However, he publicly rejected the idea that species could evolve into other species. One of his most significant contributions to the biological sciences was his insistence that natural phenomena must be explained by natural laws rather than theological doctrine.

Erasmus was an English country physician, poet, and amateur scientist. He believed that evolution has occurred in living things, including humans, but he only had rather fuzzy ideas about what might be responsible for this change. He wrote of his ideas about evolution in poems and a relatively obscure two volume scientific publication entitled Zoonomia; or, the Laws of Organic Life In this latter work, he also suggested that the earth and life on it must have been evolving for "millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind.

He was Jean-Baptiste Chevalier de Lamarck. Unfortunately, his theory about these processes was incorrect. Lamarck believed that microscopic organisms appear spontaneously from inanimate materials and then transmute, or evolve, gradually and progressively into more complex forms through a constant striving for perfection.

The ultimate product of this goal-oriented evolution was thought by Lamarck to be humans. He believed that evolution was mostly due to the inheritance of acquired characteristics as creatures adapted to their environments. That is, he believed that evolution occurs when an organism uses a body part in such a way that it is altered during its lifetime and this change is then inherited by its offspring.

For example, Lamarck thought that giraffes evolved their long necks by each generation stretching further to get leaves in trees and that this change in body shape was then inherited. Likewise, he believed that wading birds, such as herons and egrets, evolved their long legs by stretching them to remain dry.

Lamarck also believed that creatures could develop new organs or change the structure and function of old ones as a result of their use or disuse.

The basic principles of existence in the 19th century and their evolution in the modern world

It was relatively easy for the French scientist, George Cuvierand other critics of Lamarck to discredit his theory.

If it was correct, the children of cowboys who have developed bowed legs as a result of a lifetime of riding horses would be born with bowed legs as well. That, of course, does not occur. Likewise, the children of professional weight lifters are not born with enlarged muscles.

In fact, he was at the cutting edge of biological research for his time. He and George Cuvier were largely responsible for making biology a distinct branch of science. Despite his criticism of Lamarck, Cuvier did not reject the idea that there had been earlier life forms.

In fact, he was the first scientist to document extinctions of ancient animals and was an internationally respected expert on dinosaurs.The principles embodied by those humming, clunking machines, and the mechanical figures and clocks that first appeared in the 17th century, influenced the direction of the new psychology.

The metaphysician attempts to clarify the fundamental notions by which people understand the world, e.g., existence, objects and their properties, space and time, cause and effect, and possibility.

A central branch of metaphysics is ontology, the investigation into the basic categories of being and how they relate to each other. A Brief History of Water and Health from Ancient Civilizations to Modern Times.

Water is life – and life on earth is linked to water. Our existence is dependent on water, or the lack of it, in many ways, and one could say that our whole civilization is built on the use of water.

Paganism have their roots in the 19th century, e.g., the British Order of Druids, but most contemporary Pagan groups trace their immediate roots to the s and have an . The 19th century was one of great progress in biology: in addition to the formulation of the theory of evolution, the cell theory was established, the foundations for modern embryology were laid, and the laws of heredity were discovered.

In the face of this, he argued that even the most basic beliefs about the natural world, or even in the existence of the self, cannot be conclusively established by reason, but we accept them anyway because of their basis in instinct and custom.

Darwin's Influence on Modern Thought - Scientific American