The Development Of Anatomy And Physiology Essay

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The Development Of Anatomy And Physiology Essay, Research Paper Just like all other science which developed and grew to the sciences we know today, anatomy and physiology progressed through curiosity, the drive to discover and understand as well as to ?break the norm of things?, which at the time was Galen. In the early 1500?s, health science was still a mix of mysticism, religion, science and incorrect information. Ideas, techniques, and practice were all dominated by these factors. With the ever watchful eye of the church, change and experiment faced great scrutiny with any unorthodox, ungodly idea. Hands-on surgeons were nothing more than butchers, and medical students in certain cases had to resort to grave robbing. With the ?somewhat? inaccurate writings of Galen

influencing many ?physicks? of the day, the unwillingness to change only proved to be yet another obstacle. But there were those who would defy, and search for the answers with the drive and devotion needed to elevate the scientific awareness in medicine. Galen was one of the most influential Greek writers on science whose works were the leading authority in medicine and ?physick?. So impressive were Galens? works that his writings reached and influenced Muslim countries. His work would also survive the test of time, with his writings reappearing and consulted in time for the Renaissance, although, some of his works were still being circulated among the Arabs? much earlier than in Europe. He understood the importance of dissection and observation and ?was said to be brilliant in

diagnosis?. Galen also knew the importance of experimentation and hands-on work. ?If anyone wishes to observe the works of Nature, he should put his trust not in books on anatomy but in his own eyes…but so long as he only reads, he will be more likely to believe all the earlier anatomists because there are many of them.? But, despite Galens? infallible writings, it had been discovered that there were errors in Galens? description of the human anatomy. And it was thanks to one man that criticism of Galens? works had begun. Andreas Vesalius was not the typical physick of his day. ?Unlike the professors before him, Vesalius did not stay seated high in his professorial cathedra. Instead, Vesalius himself handled the body and dissected the organs.? He had the drive which was needed

to stimulate further advances in physiology. He had an unorthodox method for gathering specimens for anatomizing. Grave-robbing, corpse scavenging, as morbid as they may seem, they only went to show Vesalius? willingness and initiative to learn and discover new things. This in turn would reveal the errors in Galens? work. Vesalius had realized, ?that Galen?s ostensibly ?human? anatomy was really only a compendium of statements about animals in general?. He displayed his findings during a public anatomy at Bologna. He had set up two skeletons, one of an ape and one of a man to show the mistake which Galen had made in reference to an appendage that extended ?from the vertebra to the hip…? which was only present in the ape. Although Vesalius still held true to Galenic ideas and

errors, he had in fact opened the door for others after him to question and review Galens? writings. Santorio Santorio was another individual who aided in the advancement of physiology. He acknowledged the ancient physicians, ?he firmly founded his work on theirs?, but nevertheless went about ?using his own experience to correct the medical works of Hippocrates, Galen, Aristotle, and Avicennia.? Santorio had also ?struck a death blow at ancient medicine? with his conversion of the ancient ?humors? to proper quantities which were measurable. Slowly but surely, anatomy and physiology slowly began to break free of their bonds. Galen?s work was no longer ?perfect? and the study of human anatomy had become open and accepted. Although, sadly enough, human ignorance still managed to