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Origins of natural history

Some scholars trace the origins of science of matter as far back as pre-literate human cultures, where understanding the natural world was required for survival. Individuals constructed and observed up understanding about the behavior of pets and the usefulness of plants as meals and medication, which was given from generation to generation. These primitive understandings offered method to more formalized inquiry around 3,500 to 3,000 B.C. in Mesopotamian and Ancient Egyptian cultures, which produced the first recognized composed evidence of natural philosophy, the precursor of pure science. While the writings reveal an interest in astronomy, maths and all other elements of the real world, the supreme purpose of questions about nature's workings was in all cases mythological or spiritual, not clinical.


A tradition of scientific inquiry also arised in Ancient China, where Taoist philosophers and alchemists tried out with elixirs to extend life and remedy disorders. They concentrated on the yin and yang, or contrasting aspects in nature; the yin was connected with femininity and cold, while yang was linked with masculinity and warmth. The five phases-- fire, planet, water, metal and wood-- described a cycle of changes in nature. Water developed into wood, which became fire when it burned. The ashes left by fire were earth. Utilizing these principles, Chinese philosophers and doctors explored human anatomy, distinguisheding organs as predominantly yin or yang; they understood the relationship between the rhythm, the heart and the flow of blood in the body centuries prior to it became accepted in the West.


Little evidence makes it through of exactly how Ancient Indian cultures around the Indus River comprehended nature, but a few of their viewpoints could be mirrored in the Vedas, a set of sacred Hindu texts. They reveal a conception of the universe as ever-expanding and constantly being reused and reformed. Cosmetic surgeons in the Ayurvedic custom saw wellness and illness as a mix of 3 humors: wind, bile and phlegm. A healthy life was the result of a balance in between these humors. In Ayurvedic thought, the body consisted of 5 aspects: earth, water, fire, wind and empty space. Ayurvedic surgeons executed intricate surgical treatments and established a detailed understanding of human anatomy.


Pre-Socratic philosophers in Ancient Greek society brought natural viewpoint a step closer to direct questions about domino effect in nature between 600 and 400 B.C., although an element of magic and legend stayed. Natural phenomena such as eclipses and earthquakes were described significantly in the context of nature itself rather of being credited to angry gods. Thales of Miletus, a very early philosopher who lived from 625 to 546 B.C., clarified earthquakes by theorizing that the globe floated on water which water was the essential aspect in nature. In the 5th century B.C., Leucippus was an early exponent of atomism, the concept that the globe is composed of fundamental indivisible particles. Pythagoras applied Greek innovations in mathematics to astronomy, and suggested that the earth was spherical.