An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine

Courier Corporation
Free sample

Clear and penetrating presentation of the basic principles of scientific research from the great French physiologist whose contributions in the 19th century included the discovery of vasomotor nerves; nature of curare and other poisons in human body; functions of pancreatic juice in digestion; elucidation of glycogenic function of the liver.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Born in France, in 1813, Claude Bernard was the founder of modern experimental physiology. At Lyon, he studied to become a playwright, but critics' rejection of his works ended his dramatic aspirations. After serving for several years as a pharmacist's assistant, he became a physician and an exceptionally astute biological scientist. Bernard's investigations in physiology were fruitful and broad in scope. In 1855 he was appointed full professor of medicine at the College de France. By that time he had already explained the chemical and nervous system control of digestion, demonstrated the role of the pancreas in fat metabolism, and discovered the role that bile plays in the digestion of proteins. In the years that followed, he identified the liver as the site of glycogenesis and explained the processes governing vasodilation. Bernard's most important theoretical contribution was proposing the concept of homeostasis, which he called the milieu interieur. Homeostasis is the principle that all of the body's systems are in a constant state of adjustment and that these adjustments maintain equilibrium within the body. Bernard was the first physiologist to demonstrate that the theories and methods of chemistry and physics could contribute to the study of biology. This first use of interdisciplinary techniques broadened the base of physiology and foreshadowed the form that future research in biology would take. Bernard died in 1878.

Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Courier Corporation
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Oct 17, 2012
Read more
Collapse
Pages
272
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9780486151311
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Biology
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
INTRODUCTION.

The nature of the following work will be best understood by a brief account of how it came to be written. During many years I collected notes on the origin or descent of man, without any intention of publishing on the subject, but rather with the determination not to publish, as I thought that I should thus only add to the prejudices against my views. It seemed to me sufficient to indicate, in the first edition of my 'Origin of Species,' that by this work "light would be thrown on the origin of man and his history;" and this implies that man must be included with other organic beings in any general conclusion respecting his manner of appearance on this earth. Now the case wears a wholly different aspect. When a naturalist like Carl Vogt ventures to say in his address as President of the National Institution of Geneva (1869), "personne, en Europe au moins, n'ose plus soutenir la creation indépendante et de toutes pièces, des espèces," it is manifest that at least a large number of naturalists must admit that species are the modified descendants of other species; and this especially holds good with the younger and rising naturalists. The greater number accept the agency of natural selection; though some urge, whether with justice the future must decide, that I have greatly overrated its importance. Of the older and honoured chiefs in natural science, many unfortunately are still opposed to evolution in every form.

In consequence of the views now adopted by most naturalists, and which will ultimately, as in every other case, be followed by others who are not scientific, I have been led to put together my notes, so as to see how far the general conclusions arrived at in my former works were applicable to man. This seemed all the more desirable, as I had never deliberately applied these views to a species taken singly. When we confine our attention to any one form, we are deprived of the weighty arguments derived from the nature of the affinities which connect together whole groups of organisms—their geographical distribution in past and present times, and their geological succession. The homological structure, embryological development, and rudimentary organs of a species remain to be considered, whether it be man or any other animal, to which our attention may be directed; but these great classes of facts afford, as it appears to me, ample and conclusive evidence in favour of the principle of gradual evolution. The strong support derived from the other arguments should, however, always be kept before the mind.

Among great men, Claude Bernard should be counted fortunate in that he has not become a mythical figure. Pasteur's discoveries are hardly more remarkable, though their immediate influence has been much greater, and his horizon was incontestably less broad. But Bernard remains a plain man, highly distinguished, but not obscured by the growth of a legend. His physiological researches may have immortalized his name, but Experimental Medicine never exerted the influence which it promised. What Bernard saw as the future of physiology remained for decades obscured, so his writings were only half understood. His influence, however, was exerted far beyond medicine.

Stewart Wolf suggests that Claude Bernard's genius in physiological experimentation is similar to the extraordinary Sherlock Holmes' capacity to solve crimes and William Osler's uncanny abilities in clinical diagnosis. Like both of those creative searchers, Claude Bernard typically focused on findings that did not accord with prevailing theory. His curiosity led him to attempt to explain the finding by a tentative hypothesis; he would then devise an experiment. Although he sought for a quantitative result that might serve as a basis of a theory, he had little confidence in statistics as a guide to certainty. Bernard's opposition scientists' prevailing habit of segregating their inquiries into systems rather than studying the unified organism is particularly striking. This volume will be important for those in the medical field as well as those interested in the history of science.

©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.