Development of European Science and Medicine - Research Paper Example

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Development of Science and Medicine in Europe 1. Introduction Science encompasses an array of empirical, theoretical and practical knowledge about natural world backed by observation, explanation and prediction produced by experiments. The Medieval period (5th century to 15th century) in the history of Europe was characterized by a series of radical changes in the rate of new scientific and technological inventions…
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Download file to see previous pages During early stages of this period Islamic philosophy, science and medicine was more advanced. Islamic scholars (Amber 357) both preserved and added their own innovations upon Ancient Greek and Roman traditions. The work of great researchers Aristotle, Ptolemy, Avicenna, Jabir ibn Hayyan and Averroes, backed by their contact with the Islamic world in Spain and access to scientific Greek and Arabic texts of the early 12th century opened the doors to academic awakening in Europe. Later, European scholars approached Toledo School of translators to initiate translation programs from Arabic to Latin and aided universities aiming development of scientific communities. The Black Death and other debacles in the late 12th century ended massive learning till it was resumed in 1453 after The Fall of Constantinople. 2. Impact of Science in Medieval Western Europe At the beginning of the 13th century (Late Middle Ages) intellectual translations of the important works related to science, natural philosophy and medicine were allowed to spread via both universities and monasteries. It was then, during the Renaissance period 14th century to 17th century that academicians presented the various facets of biological sciences (botany, anatomy, medicine) art, and culture. Invention of printing press in the same era found a way to fast printing of books and spread of ideas around Europe like never before, embarking a revolution in Science and Information Technology. Books namely, De humani corporis fabrica (On the Workings of the Human Body) by Andreas Vesalius, and De Revolutionibus, by the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, were first to be printed. Though the teachings of church dominated medicine, physicians focused on deepening their knowledge about human body by reading translations from Arabian medical texts. The first anatomical drawings made by Andreas Vesalius and Leonardo Da Vinci after dissection of human body helped in understanding of the internal organs and various systems. The Church prevented medical researchers from dissection of ‘God fearing human bodies’, but allowed criminals and sinners to be dissected as a part of punishment either alive or dead. William Harvey’s experiments in 1628, theorized that the heart act as a muscular pump circulating blood around the body in the blood vessels. Thus understanding of the human body systems forged with the study of Arabic texts on medicinal value of herbs and minerals chalked out more advances in the field of scientific investigations. .The Renaissance apothecaries brought new plants from distant lands explored by Christopher Columbus and others and experimented with them. Apothecary is a historical name to an institution of modern pharmacists and medical practitioners; first apothecary shop was founded by Muslim Pharmacist during Islamic Golden Age and was popular in Spain by the 11th century (High Middle Ages). The work of apothecary in investigation of herbal and chemical ingredients may be regarded as a precursor of modern sciences and medicine.Qninine extracted from bark of Quina tree was used in treatment of malaria; tobacco leaves were considered to be containing medicinal properties and an opium-based painkiller was prescribed for many disorders. Trade between different parts of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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