, Research Paper
The history of Anatomy and Physiology
The study of Anatomy and Physiology has changed dramatically over the years, due to changes in cultural and religious beliefs. It was only until the Grecian Period people began to accept anatomy and physiology was accepted as a science. It has taken many years; many highly respect philosophers, many cultural and religious changes, and many new discoveries to advance the study anatomy and physiology. It would not be where it is today with out all these contributions.
Originally nobody knew anything about anatomy and physiology. At first it was believed if you had a disease it was because god was punishing you. Another religious belief is if the body were dissected it would not be able to continue onto the afterlife. There were many religious beliefs and the people strongly believed in them.
The Grecian period was the time people began to accept anatomy and physiology as a science. This was the time when people were getting curious about the body and its functions. This period produced the famous Greek physician Hippocrates. One of the greatest contributions Hippocrates has made to the study anatomy and physiology was that people got diseases because of natural causes and not that it was god punishing you. Erasistratus another philosopher in the Greek period. He wrote a book that had observations on the heart, vessels, brain, and cranial nerves. The next period in time was the Roman era. The roman period didn’t help much any with the advancement of anatomy and physiology. Not many dissections were performed during this time and only autopsies were performed to determine how criminals’ deaths happened. Probably the only good thing was philosopher Claudius Galen. For about fifteen hundred-year Galen’s writings were what people went on about anatomy and medical treatments. His work contained many errors mostly because he desired to present definitive answers.
The Middle Ages was probably the worst time for anatomy and physiology. Dissections were seriously prohibited during this time. Molesting a corpse was a criminal act and was punishable by burning at the stake. If a mysterious death occurred examinations by inspection were accepted.
The renaissance was the come back era for science after the Middle Ages. The renaissance was the age of modern science. With everybody interested in anatomy and physiology getting a cadaver became harder than ver so medical students would practice grave robbing. Finally after a long time an official decree was issued saying that the bodies executed criminals could be used as specimens. Artist Andreas Vesalius painted the masterpiece of his, De Humani Corporis Fabrica. The painting has various body systems and organs very beautifully illustrated. Vesalius wrote against Galen’s Theories and other theories by other philosophers. Vesalius destroyed most of his unpublished work and ceased dissections because of the relentless attacks him by other philosopher.
The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was probably the best time period in the advancement of anatomy and physiology. The development of the microscope and explanation of blood flow. A Dutch lens grinder improved the magnification of the microscope to 270 times.
Not much in advancement happened in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Probably the biggest thing that happened was the formulation of the cell theory. The research of anatomy and physiology was more detailed and complex.
Anatomy and physiology has changed so much throughout history. It has gone from grave robbing to people donating their bodies to science. It has also gone from that the heart was the center of intelligence and the brain was just to cool you down. Doctors were banished then but now they are praised. You would have been killed if you tried to practice medicine. We now have a better understanding of the body and its functions. We have way more advanced technology and because of that we are now more able to explain why things happen. There are so many people graduating from medical school to become doctors there is an overflow of doctors.