TLW's Biologistscope™ (Biologist Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Jan. 6, 2017. Last Update: May 18, 2019.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to biology and biologist history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
In 335 B.C.E. Stagira, Macedonia-born Greek Golden Mean philosopher (the first scientist?) Aristotle (Gr. "best (purpose) of all") of Stagira (-384 to -322) parts ways with Plato and founds the Lyceum in E Athens, becoming the teacher of undefeated world conqueror Alexander III the Great, preferring to collect data rather than sit around thinking, and (after much personal experimentation?) deciding that all inheritance comes from the father, the mother merely providing the material, and that female babies are caused by "interference" from the mother; he leaves 260 treatises, incl. Constitution of Athens (written in -350) (discovered in 1890 C.E.), Physics, Metaphysics, Ethics, Logic (Prior Analytics), Zoology, De Anima (On the Soul) (the nous poietikos or active intellect vs. the nous pathetikos or passive intellect), which first mentions the Tabula Rasa view of the mind as starting out a blank slate, and Poetics, the first work on art criticism, valuing art based on how it imitates the universal in human nature, and claiming criticism as a science: "Man is by nature a political animal"; "Hope is a waking dream"; "Tyrants preserve themselves by sowing fear and mistrust among the citizens by means of spies, by distracting them with foreign wars, by eliminating men of spirit who might lead a revolution, by humbling the people, and making them incapable of decisive action"; "Music directly represents the passions of the soul. If one listens to the wrong kind of music, he will become the wrong kind of person."
In 1551 Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner (Konrad von Gesner) (1516-65) pub. Historiae Animalium (5 vols.) (4.5K pages) (1551-8), founding modern Zoology (Animal Biology); in 1554 he pub. the first scientific description of the Guinea pig; the earliest known portrait of a guinea pig is painted in Elizabethan England in 1580.
In 1670 Italian scientist Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608-79), known for his experiments in biomechanics describes a mechanical bird with artificial wings, attempting to explain flight by means of an inclined plane. In 1680 he pub. De Motu Animalium (On the Motion of Animals), financed by Queen Christina of Sweden (who gives him protection from Galileo's fate), which links Galilean mechanics to Cartesian mechanistic biology, founding the science of Biomechanics; recognizes that forward motion requires forward movement of the body's center of gravity, followed by swinging of the limbs to maintain balance; likens the action of the heart to a piston, requiring the arteries to be elastic - the heart is like the Sun, and the weenie is like the Moon?
In 1779 Dutch chemist-biologist Jan Ingenhousz (1730-99) discovers that plants need carbon dioxide, and that they need light in order to produce oxygen.
In 1779 Italian biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-99) proves that sperm and egg must come into contact for fertilization to occur, and invents Artificial Insemination - don't be lazy and spill any?
In 1786 Italian scientist Luigi Galvani (1737-98) discovers that nerves transmit electricity, and goes on in 1789 to experiment on the muscular contraction of dead frogs.
In Apr. 1796 French naturalist Jean Leopold Nicolas Frederic Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) gives the lecture Mémoires sur les espèces d'éléphants vivants et fossiles at the Nat. Inst. (pub. in 1800), comparing skeletons of Indian and African elephants, and mastodons ("the Ohio animal"), which he concludes are all different species, the latter extinct; in 1806 he coins the name "mastodon"; he also describes a large skeleton found in Paraguay, which he names the Megatherium, claiming it is an extinct variety of the tree-dwelling sloth, ending the debate about whether extinction has actually happened, and founding Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology. In 1798 he pub. Tableau élémentaire de l'histoire naturelle des animaux, becoming the first attempt at systematic classification of the animal kingdom, founding modern Zoology (Comparative Anatomy), stressing how the parts of an organism are correlated to the functioning whole. In 1812 he pub. Recherches sur les Ossements Fossiles de Quadrupedes (Researches on Quadruped Fossil Bones), issuing his "rash dictum" that it is unlikely that any large animal remained undiscovered. In 1813 he pub. Essay on the Theory of the Earth, which advances the theory of catastrophism in geology, claiming that new species were created after periodic catastrophic floods after establishing the fact of past extinction. In 1817 he pub. Le Règne Animal (The Animal Kingdom) (4 vols.), his magnum opus, a summation of his life's work on comparative anatomy, containing apparent support for evolutionary change for the extinct mammoths et al., making a fan of Charles Darwin, although Cuvier rejects the idea of evolution.
In 1797 Thomas Jefferson gives a scientific lecture on a "sloth" which later turns out to be a feline; sloths are cold-blooded, see...
In 1802 French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck (1744-1829) pub. Hydrogeologie, coining the term "biology", and claiming that continents march steadily westward; he also pub. Recherches sur l'Organisation des Corps Vivans, proposing the theory of evolution, but without describing a mechanism. In 1802 German naturalist Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus (1776-1837) pub. Biologie: Oder die Philosophie der Lebenden Natur, independently coining the term "biology", and proposing the transmutation of species - God holds it remarkably up his anus?
In 1834 German physiologist (histologist) Theodor Schwann (1810-82) discovers the catalytic role of pepsin (from Gr. "digestion") in gastric juice - too early to be given the "-ase" suffix. In 1837 he recognizes that the yeast cell is a living organism, naming it saccharomyces (Gr. "sugar fungus") for its sweet tooth, also recognizing that fermentation is an anaerobic process, helping turn beer brewing into a science, going on to generalize that cells are the common structural and functional unit of all living organisms - and likes to paint his trucks mustard yellow? In 1839 the vitalist theory of animal life is dumped, and the cell-growth theory of biology is boosted with his discovery of animal cells, consisting of protoplasm separated by membranes, all mature tissues of animals being traceable to embryonic, nucleated cells.
In 1872 English biologist Douglas Alexander Spalding (1841-77) pub. his discovery of Psychological Imprinting in small animals; too bad, it takes decades for his work to be recognized.
In 1872 after finding evidence of life at great ocean depths in 1868-70, Scottish marine biologist Charles Wyville Thomson (1830-82) embarks on an oceanographic expedition in the Challenger (ends 1876), after which he becomes a celeb and is knighted by Queen Vicky.a
In 1888 German Bavarian biologist Theodor Heinrich Boveri (1862-1915) discovers the centrosome, which he calls the "special organ of cell division", later discovering the phenomenon of chromatin diminution; in 1902 he proposes that a cancerous tumor starts with a single cell in which the chromosome makeup becomes scrambled, causing it to divide uncontrollably, caused by radiation, chemicals, or pathogens, which is proved true in 1915 by Thomas Hunt Morgan.
In 1897 English biochemist Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins (1861-1947) proves that a lack of vitamins causes disease, winning him the 1929 Nobel Med. Prize along with Christiaan Eijkman, while the real discoverer, Polish biochemist Casimir Funk is snubbed - that's what I tell my wife?
On Jan. 16, 1902 the existence and function of hormones are discovered by English physiologist Ernest Henry Starling (1866-1927) of University College, London; Starling and English physiologist Sir William Maddock Bayliss (1860-1924) discover the hormone secretin; Am. geneticist Walter Stanborough Sutton (1877-1916) and German biologist Theodor Heinrich Boveri (1862-1915) independently (via work with sea urchins) propose the Boveri-Sutton Chromosome Theory that chromosomes contain genetic info.; Sutton coins the term "gene"; Boveri theorizes that a cancerous tumor starts with a cell that gets its chromosomes scrambled; also in 1902 Bayliss discovers the Bayliss Effect (Myogenic Response), whereby blood vessels contract or distend based on blood pressure to create an autoregulation mechanism.
In 1913 Harvard chemist-biologist Lawrence Joseph Henderson (1878-1942) pub. The Fitness of the Environment: An Inquiry into the Biological Significance of the Properties of Matter, "an inquiry into the biological significance of the properties of matter", becoming the first major book to develop the concept of fine tuning in the Universe; "The properties of matter and the course of cosmic evolution are now seen to be intimately related to the structure of the living being and to its activities; they become therefore, far more important in biology than has been previously suspected. For the whole evolutionary process, both cosmic and organic, is one, and the biologist may now rightly regard the universe in its very essence as biocentric"; "One of the remarkable physical properties of carbon dioxide is its degree of solubility in water. This quality varies enormously in different substances. For example, at ordinary pressures and temperatures, water can absorb only about 5 per cent of its own volume of oxygen, while it can take up about 1300 times its own volume of ammonia. Now for carbon dioxide, unlike most gases, the volume that can be absorbed by water is nearly the same as the volume of the water. The volumes vary, however, according to temperature, being absolutely the same at a temperature of about 15ºC. or 59ºF., which is close to the ideal temperature for man's physical health and practically the same as the mean temperature of the earth's surface when all seasons are averaged together"; "Hence, when water is in contact with air, and equilibrium has been established, the amount of free carbonic acid in a given volume of water is almost exactly equal to the amount in the adjacent air. Unlike oxyzen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, carbonic acid enters water freely; unlike sulphurous oxide and ammonia, it escapes freely from water. Thus the waters can never wash carbonic acid completely out of the air, nor can the air keep it from the waters. It is the one substance which thus, in considerable quantities relative to its total amount, everywhere accompanies water. In earth, air, fire, and water alike, these two substances are always associated"; "Accordingly, if water be the first primary constituent of the environment, carbonic acid is inevitably the second, - because of its solubility possessing an equal mobility with water, because of the reservoir of the atmosphere never to be depleted by chemical action in the oceans, lakes, and streams. In truth, so close is the association between these two substances that it is scarcely correct logically to separate them at all; together they make up the real environment and they never part company."
In 1921 German embryologist Hans Spemann (1869-1941) postulates an organizer principle responsible for the formative interaction between neighboring embryonic regions, causing embryologists to start searching for the inductive chemical molecule. In 1928 he conducts the first nuclear transfer experiment, going on to win the 1935 Nobel Med. Prize.
In 1926 the first plant hormone, Auxin is discovered by Dutch biologist Frits Warmolt Went (1903-90).
In 1930 Dutch-Am. biologist Cornelius Bernardus (Kees) Van Niel (1897-1985) works out the process of photosynthesis in green algae, proving that CO2 and water are converted in the presence of sunlight to chemical energy along with waste O2.
In 1930 Dutch-born physicist Fritz Zernike (1888-1966) of the U. of Groningen in Germany invents the Phase Contrast Microscope, making possible detailed study of living cells by biologists, winning him the 1953 Nobel Physics Prize.
In 1942 German-born devout atheist evolutionist biologist Ernst Mayr (1904-2005), collaborator of devout Christian evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-75) proposes a new biological species concept that is accepted in scientific circles as the answer to the "species problem", incl. genetic drift, natural selection, and peripatric and allopatric speciation - evolution is just a scientific explanation for a natural process, you can do this?
In 1943 the antibiotic Streptomycin, effective in treating TB and bubonic plague is isolated from Streptomyces by Russian-born Jewish-Am. microbiologist Selman Abraham Waksman (1888-1973), who receives the 1952 Nobel Medicine Prize for it, and his Jewish-Am. asst. Albert Israel Schatz (1920-2005), who isn't given credit until he takes Waksman to court and wins; at first effective against bacteria resistant to penicillin, the pesky little buggers develop resistance, and the race for new antibiotics never ends (until ?); Jewish concentation camp survivor Inge Auerbacher (1934-) becomes one of the first to receive the new antibiotic, going on to become a chemist.
In 1944 Canadian-born Am. physician Oswald Theodore Avery Jr. (1877-1955), Canadian-Am. geneticist Colin Munro MacLeod (1909-72), and Am. geneticist Maclyn McCarty (1911-2005) determine that nuclear DNA acts as the carrier of genetic info., and transmutes one type of pneumococcus bacteria into a 2nd type by DNA transfer, founding Molecular Biology - how many years until we're all mixed bags of DNA from Noah's Ark?
In 1944 Erwin Schrodinger pub. What Is Life, in which he suggests that quantum mechanics and coherent ringing in an "aperiodic crystal" might be at the basis of all biochemical reactions.
The Science of Biology gets its Trinity of Watson-Crick-and-I-forget? On Feb. 28, 1953 Chicago-born U.S. biologist James Dewey Watson (1928-) and British Cambridge U. model-making molecular biologist Francis Harry Compton Crick (1916-2004) announce their discovery of "the secret of life", the neat transvestite double-helix structure of DNA, then pub. a 1-page article in the Apr. 25 issue of Nature, drooling "This structure has novel features that are of considerable biological interest", later sharing the 1962 Nobel Med. Prize for it with Kiwi physicist Maurice H.F. Wilkins (1916-2004), who verifies the structure with X-ray diffraction; meanwhile Wilkins' colleague Rosalind Elsie Franklin (1920-58) of Kings College, who also pub. an article in the Apr. 25 issue on her X-ray diffraction studies, and whose work allowed the discovery is left out of the prize - no wonder girls hate math?
In 1957 Am. biologists Matthew Stanley Meselson (1930-) and Franklin William "Frank" Stahl (1929-) prove that DNA replication is semi-conservative, i.e., each daughter cell contains one DNA strand from the original helix.
In 1961 after Am. microbiologist Maurice Ralph Hillerman (1919-2005) of Merck & Co. discovers that simian viruses can contaminate vaccines, Jonas Salk's polio vaccine is recalled and replaced with Albert Sabin's oral vaccine.
In 1961 South African biologist Sydney Brenner (1927-2019), French biologist Francois Jacob (1920-2013), and Am. biologists Matthew Stanley Meselson (1930-) and Franklin William Stahl (1929-) use phage-infected bacteria to show that ribosomes are the site of protein synthesis and are stable, proving the existence of Messenger RNA (mRNA), and elucidating the triplet nature of the code of protein translation, incl. how frameshift mutations occur when a number of nucleotides not evenly divisible by three are inserted or deleted; Jacob and Jacques Lucien Monod (1910-76) propose that control of enzyme levels in cells occurs through feedback on transcription, becoming the first example of a transciptional regulation system, winning them the 1965 Nobel Med. Prize; Brenner later discovers that the 1mm roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal model organism for studying the genetics of animal development, winning him the 2002 Nobel Med. Prize.
In 1963 Am. biologist Alexander Rich (1924-) discovers Polysomes, clusters of ribosomes that read a single strand of mRNA simultaneously.
In June 1967 Austrian-born Australian biologist Sir Gustav Victor Joseph Nossal (1931-) proposes that antibodies work by detecting the size and shape of their target molecule in order to attach themselves to an antigen.
In 1969 U.S. Public Health Service virologist Robert Joseph Huebner (1914-98) pub. his Oncogene Theory, suggesting that viruses or single genes may trigger dangerous cell overgrowth, interacting with normal genes to produce cancer.
In 1970 Am. microbiologist Hamilton Othanel Smith (1931-) discovers Restriction Enzymes, which can break DNA molecules in predictable places, leading Am. microbiologist Daniel Nathans (1928-99) next year to break up a cancer virus, which eventually leads to its complete genetic mapping; Smith, Nathan, and Swiss microbiologist Werner Arber (1929-) later receive the 1978 Nobel Med. Prize for their work on restrictive enzymes.
In 1971 Japanese-born Canadian cell biologist Yoshio Masui (1931-) of the U. of Toronto and Am. developmental biologist L. Dennis Smith of Purdue U. independently discover Maturation (Mitosis) Promoting Factor (MPF), which controls when mitosis or meiosis begins in cells.
In 1971 Am. evolutionary biologist Robert Ludlow "Bob" Trivers (1943-) proposes the theory of Reciprocal Altruism, followed in 1972 by Parental Investment, followed in 1973 by facultative sex ratio determination (that mammals can determine the sex ratio of their offspring to maximize their own reproductive success) (proved in 2013), followed in 1974 by Parent-Offspring Conflict, followed in 1976 by self-deception as an adaptive evolutionary strategy, founding the field of Evolutionary Sociobiology; "The chimpanzee and the human share about 99.5 percent of their evoltuionary history, yet most human thinkers regard the chimp as a malformed, irrelevant oddity, while seeing themselves as stepping stones to the Almighty."
In 1973 Russian-born Am. evolutionary biologist Theodosius Grygorovych Dobzhansky (1900-75) pub. Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution, which disses Bible creationism while supporting theistic evolution so he can stay a devout member of the Russian Orthodox Church, becoming the mantra of the keep-Creation-out-of-public-schools lobby; the reality that the facts of biology are interrelated proves evolution and not a Creator who used a common design kit?; "I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 B.C.; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way" - I know I was there?
In 1973 English embyrologist Sir Ian Wilmut (1944-) produces the first live birth of a calf (named Frosty 2) from a frozen embryo; Frosty 1 was from frozen sperm; by 1996 he's into lambs.
In 1977 Philip Allen Sharp (1944-) of MIT and British-born Richard John Roberts (1943-) of Cold Spring Harbor Lab on Long Island independently discover Split Genes, genomic sequences (exons) interrupted by intervening sequences of meaningless info. (introns), found in organisms other than monerans (bacteria and algae). In 1979 Biogen Inc. is founded in Boston, Mass. by molecular biologists Philip Allen Sharp (1944-) and Walter Gilbert (1932-), who develop a way to sequence DNA, after which Gilbert shares the 1980 Nobel Medicine Prize and Sharp the 1993 Nobel Med. Prize.
In 1979 Hertfordshire-born English chemist James Ephraim Lovelock (1919-) pub. Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, which proposes the Gaia Hypothesis, that the Earth functions as a superorganism, pissing-off Darwinian evolutionists, who smell a Creator or Intelligent Designer? In 1988 the First Chapman Conference on the Gaia Hypothesis in San Diego, Calif. puts forward the Gaia Hypothesis (Princeiple) (Theory) of English physical chemist James Ephraim Lovelock (1919-) and Am. biologist Lynn Margulis (nee Lynn Petra Alexander) (1938-2011)
In 1981 German geneticist Christiane Nusslein-Volhard (Nüsslein-Volhard) (1942-) and Am. biologist Eric F. Weischaus (1947-) identify genes in the fruit fly Drosophila that serve as markers for body shape and organ arrangement, winning them the 1995 Nobel Med. Prize along with Am. geneticist Edward B. Lewis (1918-2004).
In 1987 Russian meteorologist Yuri Antonovich Izrael (1930-2014), dir. of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Inst. of Global Climate and Ecology and Russian meteorologist Mikhail Ivanovich Budyko (1920-2001), dir. of the State Hydrological Inst.'s Div. for Climate Change Research pub. the study Anthropogenic Climate Change, concluding that parts of the Northern Hemisphere would benefit from some climate change; on Oct. 30, 1998 Budyko gives the speech Global Climate Warming and Its Consequence, with the soundbyte: "On balance, it is very difficult to conclude with higher accuracy whether the projected global warming would be globally beneficial to human society or not." In 2000 Dutch atmospheric chemist Paul Jozef Crutzen (1933-) and Am. biologist Eugene F. Stoermer (1334-2012) (who coined the term in the early 1980s) pub. a paper proposing the term "anthropocene" for the current geological epoch, with the soundbyte: "To assign a more specific date to the onset of the 'anthropocene' seems somewhat arbitrary, but we propose the latter part of the 18th century, although we are aware that alternative proposals can be made (some may even want to include the entire holocene). However, we choose this date because, during the past two centuries, the global effects of human activities have become clearly noticeable. This is the period when data retrieved from glacial ice cores show the beginning of a growth in the atmospheric concentrations of several 'greenhouse gases', in particular CO2 and CH4. Such a starting date also coincides with James Watt's invention of the steam engine in 1784."