Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This is the case with the simple material elements

This is the case with the simple material elements; it is the case with palms and vines, (which constitute) the last stage of plants, in their relation to snails and shellfish, (which constitute) the (lowest) stage of animals. It is also the case with monkeys, creatures combining in themselves cleverness and perception, in their relation to man, the being who has the ability to think and to reflect. Sony VAIO PCG-7184L battery The preparedness (for transformation) that exists on either side, at each stage of the worlds, is meant when (we speak about) their connection. During the Early Middle Ages, Greek classical learning was all but lost to the West. However, contact with the Islamic world, where Greek manuscripts were preserved and expanded, soon led to a massive spate of Latin translations in the 12th century. Sony VAIO PCG-7185L battery Europeans were re-introduced to the works of Plato and Aristotle, as well as to Islamic thought. Christian thinkers of the scholastic school, in particular Abelard and Thomas Aquinas, combined Aristotelian classification with Plato's ideas of the goodness of God, and of all potential life forms being present in a perfect creation, to organize all inanimate, Sony VAIO PCG-381L battery animate, and spiritual beings into a huge interconnected system: the scala naturæ, or great chain of being.[6][30] Within this system, everything that existed could be placed in order, from "lowest" to "highest", with Hell at the bottom and God at the top—below God, an angelic hierarchy marked by the orbits of the planets, mankind in an intermediate position, and worms the lowest of the animals. Sony VAIO PCG-382L battery As the universe was ultimately perfect, the great chain was also perfect. There were no empty links in the chain, and no link was represented by more than one species. Therefore no species could ever move from one position to another. Thus, in this Christianized version of Plato's perfect universe, species could never change, but remained forever fixed, in accordance with the text of Genesis. Sony VAIO PCG-383L battery For humans to forget their position was seen as sinful, whether they behaved like lower animals or aspired to a higher station than was given them by their Creator.[6] Creatures on adjacent steps were expected to closely resemble each other, an idea expressed in the saying: natura non facit saltum("nature does not make leaps").[6] Sony VAIO PCG-384L battery This basic concept of the great chain of being greatly influenced the thinking of Western civilization for centuries (and still has an influence today). It formed a part of the argument from design presented by natural theology. As a classification system, it became the major organizing principle and foundation of the emerging science of biology in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sony VAIO PCG-391L battery While the development of the great chain of being and the argument from design by Christian theologians contributed to the view that the natural world fit into an unchanging designed hierarchy, some theologians were more open to the possibility that the world might have developed through natural processes. Sony VAIO PCG-393L battery Thomas Aquinas went even farther than Augustine of Hippo in arguing that scriptural texts like Genesis should not be interpreted in a literal way that conflicted with or constrained what natural philosophers learned about the workings of the natural world. He felt that the autonomy of nature was a sign of God's goodness and that there was no conflict between the concept of a divinely created universe, and the idea that the universe may have evolved over time through natural mechanisms.[31] Sony VAIO PCG-394L battery However, Aquinas disputed the views of those like the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles who held that such natural processes showed that the universe could have developed without an underlying purpose. Rather holding that: "Hence, it is clear that nature is nothing but a certain kind of art, i.e., the divine art, impressed upon things, by which these things are moved to a determinate end. Sony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery It is as if the shipbuilder were able to give to timbers that by which they would move themselves to take the form of a ship."In the first half of the 17th century, René Descartes's mechanical philosophy encouraged the use of the metaphor of the universe as a machine, a concept that would come to characterise the scientific revolution.[33] Between 1650 and 1800 some evolutionists, such as Benoît de Maillet, Sony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery produced theories that maintained that the universe, the earth, and life, had developed mechanically, without divine guidance.[34] In contrast, most contemporary theories of evolution, such of those of Gottfried Leibniz and J. G. Herder, regarded evolution as a fundamentally spiritual process.[35] In 1751, Pierre Louis Maupertuis veered toward more materialist ground. Sony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery He wrote of natural modifications occurring during reproduction and accumulating over the course of many generations, producing races and even new species, a description that anticipated in general terms the concept of natural selection.[36] Maupertuis's ideas were in opposition to the influence of early taxonomists like John Ray. Sony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery In the late 17th century Ray had given the first formal definition of a biological species, which he described as being characterized by essential unchanging features, and stated the seed of one species could never give rise to another.[7] The ideas of Ray and other 17th century taxonomists were influenced by natural theology and the argument from design.[37] Sony VAIO PCG-41112L battery The word evolution (from the Latin evolutio, meaning "to unroll like a scroll") was initially used to refer to embryological development; its first use in relation to development of species came in 1762, when Charles Bonnet used it for his concept of "pre-formation", in which females carried a miniature form of all future generations. The term gradually gained a more general meaning of growth or progressive development.[38] Sony VAIO PCG-51211L battery Later in the 18th century, the French philosopher G. L. L. Buffon, one of the leading naturalists of the time, suggested that what most people referred to as species were really just well-marked varieties, modified from an original form by environmental factors. For example, he believed that lions, tigers, leopards and house cats might all have a common ancestor. Sony VAIO PCG-51311L battery He further speculated that the 200 or so species of mammals then known might have descended from as few as 38 original animal forms. Buffon's evolutionary ideas were limited; he believed each of the original forms had arisen through spontaneous generation and that each was shaped by "internal moulds" that limited the amount of change. Buffon's works, Sony VAIO PCG-51312L battery Natural History and The Epochs of Nature, containing well developed theories about a completely materialistic origin for the Earth and his ideas questioning the fixity of species, were extremely influential.[39][40] Another French philosopher, Denis Diderot, also wrote that living things might have first arisen through spontaneous generation, Sony VAIO PCG-51411L battery and that species were always changing through a constant process of experiment where new forms arose and survived or not based on trial and error; an idea that can be considered a partial anticipation of natural selection.[41] Between 1767 and 1792, James Burnett, Lord Monboddo included in his writings not only the concept that man had descended from primates, but also that, in response to the environment, Sony VAIO PCG-51412L battery creatures had found methods of transforming their characteristics over long time intervals.[42] Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, publishedZoönomia in 1796, which suggested that "all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament".[43] In his 1802 poem Temple of Nature, he described the rise of life from minute organisms living in mud to all of its modern diversity. Sony VAIO PCG-51511L battery In 1796 Georges Cuvier published his findings on the differences between living elephants and those found in the fossil record. His analysis identified mammoths and mastodons as distinct species, different from any living animal, and effectively ended a long-running debate over whether a species could go extinct.[45] In 1788, James Hutton described gradual geological processes operating continuously over deep time.[46] Sony VAIO PCG-51513L battery In the 1790s William Smith began the process of ordering rock strata by examining fossils in the layers while he worked on his geologic map of England. Independently, in 1811, Georges Cuvier and Alexandre Brongniart published an influential study of the geologic history of the region around Paris, based on the stratigraphic succession of rock layers. These works helped establish the antiquity of the Earth.[47] Sony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery Cuvier advocated catastrophism to explain the patterns of extinction andfaunal succession revealed by the fossil record. Knowledge of the fossil record continued to advance rapidly during the first few decades of the 19th century. By the 1840s, the outlines of the geologic timescale were becoming clear, and in 1841 John Phillips named three major eras, Sony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery based on the predominantfauna of each: the Paleozoic, dominated by marine invertebrates and fish, the Mesozoic, the age of reptiles, and the currentCenozoic age of mammals. This progressive picture of the history of life was accepted even by conservative English geologists likeAdam Sedgwick and William Buckland; however, like Cuvier, they attributed the progression to repeated catastrophic episodes of extinction followed by new episodes of creation.[48] Sony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery Unlike Cuvier, Buckland and some other advocates of natural theology among British geologists made efforts to explicitly link the last catastrophic episode proposed by Cuvier to the biblical flood.[49][50] From 1830 to 1833, Charles Lyell published his multi-volume work Principles of Geology, which, building on Hutton's ideas, advocated a uniformitarian alternative to the catastrophic theory of geology. Sony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery Lyell claimed that, rather than being the products of cataclysmic (and possibly supernatural) events, the geologic features of the Earth are better explained as the result of the same gradual geologic forces observable in the present day—but acting over immensely long periods of time. Although Lyell opposed evolutionary ideas (even questioning the consensus that the fossil record demonstrates a true progression), Sony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery his concept that the Earth was shaped by forces working gradually over an extended period, and the immense age of the Earth assumed by his theories, would strongly influence future evolutionary thinkers such as Charles Darwin. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck proposed, in his Philosophie Zoologique of 1809, a theory of the transmutation of species. Sony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery Lamarck did not believe that all living things shared a common ancestor but rather that simple forms of life were created continuously byspontaneous generation. He also believed that an innate life force drove species to become more complex over time, advancing up a linear ladder of complexity that was related to the great chain of being. Lamarck recognized that species adapted to their environment. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery He explained this by saying that the same innate force driving increasing complexity caused the organs of an animal (or a plant) to change based on the use or disuse of those organs, just as exercise affects muscles. He argued that these changes would be inherited by the next generation and produce slow adaptation to the environment. Sony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery It was this secondary mechanism of adaptation through the inheritance of acquired characteristics that would become known as Lamarckism and would influence discussions of evolution into the 20th century.[52][53] A radical British school of comparative anatomy that included the anatomist Robert Grant was closely in touch with Lamarck's French school of Transformationism. Sony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery One of the French scientists who influenced Grant was the anatomist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, whose ideas on the unity of various animal body plans and the homology of certain anatomical structures would be widely influential and lead to intense debate with his colleague Georges Cuvier. Grant became an authority on the anatomy and reproduction of marineinvertebrates. Sony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery He developed Lamarck's and Erasmus Darwin's ideas of transmutation and evolutionism, and investigated homology, even proposing that plants and animals had a common evolutionary starting point. As a young student Charles Darwin joined Grant in investigations of the life cycle of marine animals. In 1826 an anonymous paper, probably written by Robert Jameson, Sony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery praised Lamarck for explaining how higher animals had "evolved" from the simplest worms; this was the first use of the word "evolved" in a modern sense.[54][55] In 1844 the Scottish publisher Robert Chambers anonymously published an extremely controversial but widely read book entitledVestiges of the Natural History of Creation. Sony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery This book proposed an evolutionary scenario for the origins of the Solar System and of life on Earth. It claimed that the fossil record showed a progressive ascent of animals, with current animals branching off a main line that leads progressively to humanity. It implied that the transmutations lead to the unfolding of a preordained plan that had been woven into the laws that governed the universe. Sony VAIO PCG-61111L battery In this sense it was less completely materialistic than the ideas of radicals like Robert Grant, but its implication that humans were only the last step in the ascent of animal life incensed many conservative thinkers. The high profile of the public debate over Vestiges, with its depiction of evolution as a progressive process, would greatly influence the perception of Darwin's theory a decade later.[56][57] Sony VAIO PCG-61112L battery Ideas about the transmutation of species were associated with the radical materialism of the Enlightenment and were attacked by more conservative thinkers. Georges Cuvier attacked the ideas of Lamarck and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, agreeing with Aristotle that species were immutable. Cuvier believed that the individual parts of an animal were too closely correlated with one another to allow for one part of the anatomy to change in isolation from the others, Sony VAIO PCG-61411L battery and argued that the fossil record showed patterns of catastrophic extinctions followed by re-population, rather than gradual change over time. He also noted that drawings of animals and animal mummies from Egypt, which were thousands of years old, showed no signs of change when compared with modern animals. The strength of Cuvier's arguments and his scientific reputation helped keep transmutational ideas out of the mainstream for decades. Sony VAIO PCG-71111L battery In Britain the philosophy of natural theology remained influential. William Paley's 1802 book Natural Theology with its famouswatchmaker analogy had been written at least in part as a response to the transmutational ideas of Erasmus Darwin.[59] Geologists influenced by natural theology, such as Buckland and Sedgwick, made a regular practice of attacking the evolutionary ideas of Lamarck, Grant, and The Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation.Sony VAIO PCG-7141L battery Although the geologist Charles Lyell opposed scriptural geology, he also believed in the immutability of species, and in his Principles of Geology (1830–1833), he criticized Lamarck's theories of development.[51] Idealists such as Louis Agassiz and Richard Owen believed that each species was fixed and unchangeable because it represented an idea in the mind of the creator. Sony VAIO PCG-7142L battery They believed that relationships between species could be discerned from developmental patterns in embryology, as well as in the fossil record, but that these relationships represented an underlying pattern of divine thought, with progressive creation leading to increasing complexity and culminating in humanity. Owen developed the idea of "archetypes" in the Divine mind that would produce a sequence of species related by anatomical homologies, Sony VAIO PCG-81113L battery such as vertebrate limbs. Owen led a public campaign that successfully marginalized Robert Grant in the scientific community. Darwin would make good use of the homologies analyzed by Owen in his own theory, but the harsh treatment of Grant, and the controversy surrounding Vestiges, showed him the need to ensure that his own ideas were scientifically sound. Sony VAIO PCG-81114L battery It is possible to look through the history of biology from the ancient Greeks onwards and discover anticipations of almost all of Charles Darwin's key ideas. For example, Loren Eiseley has found isolated passages written by Buffon suggesting he was almost ready to piece together a theory of natural selection, but such anticipations should not be taken out of the full context of the writings or of cultural values of the time which could make Darwinian ideas of evolution unthinkable.[64] Sony VAIO PCG-81115L battery When Darwin was developing his theory, he investigated selective breeding and was impressed by Sebright's observation that "A severe winter, or a scarcity of food, by destroying the weak and the unhealthy, has all the good effects of the most skilful selection" so that "the weak and the unhealthy do not live to propagate their infirmities".[65] Sony VAIO PCG-81214L battery

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