Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet, Chevalier de Lamarck, often known simply as Lamarck, was a French naturalist. He was a soldier, biologist, academic, and a proponent of the idea that evolution occurred and proceeded in accordance with natural laws. He gave the term biology a broader meaning by coining the term for special sciences, chemistry, meteorology, geology, Lamarck fought in the Pomeranian War with Prussia, and was awarded a commission for bravery on the battlefield. At his post in Monaco, Lamarck became interested in natural history and he retired from the army after being injured in 1766, and returned to his medical studies. Lamarck developed a particular interest in botany, and later, after he published the three-volume work Flore françoise, Lamarck became involved in the Jardin des Plantes and was appointed to the Chair of Botany in 1788. When the Muséum national dHistoire naturelle was founded in 1793, Lamarck was appointed as a professor of zoology, in 1801, he published Système des animaux sans vertèbres, a major work on the classification of invertebrates, a term he coined. In an 1802 publication, he one of the first to use the term biology in its modern sense. Lamarck continued his work as an authority on invertebrate zoology. He is remembered, at least in malacology, as a taxonomist of considerable stature, however, his idea of soft inheritance was, perhaps, a reflection of the wisdom of the time accepted by many natural historians. Scientists have debated whether advances in the field of transgenerational epigenetics mean that Lamarck was to an extent correct, jean-Baptiste Lamarck was born in Bazentin, Picardy, northern France, as the eleventh child in an impoverished aristocratic family. Male members of the Lamarck family had served in the French army. Lamarcks eldest brother was killed in combat at the Siege of Bergen op Zoom, yielding to the wishes of his father, Lamarck enrolled in a Jesuit college in Amiens in the late 1750s. After his father died in 1760, Lamarck bought himself a horse, and rode across the country to join the French army, Lamarck showed great physical courage on the battlefield in the Pomeranian War with Prussia, and he was even nominated for the lieutenancy. Lamarcks company was exposed to the direct artillery fire of their enemies. When their colonel reached the remains of their company, this display of courage, however, when one of his comrades playfully lifted him by the head, he sustained an inflammation in the lymphatic glands of the neck, and he was sent to Paris to receive treatment. He underwent an operation, and continued his treatment for a year. He was awarded a commission and settled at his post in Monaco and it was there that he encountered Traité des plantes usuelles, a botany book by James Francis Chomel. With a reduced pension of only 400 francs a year, Lamarck resolved to pursue a profession and he attempted to study medicine, and supported himself by working in a bank office
Louis Braille was a French educator and inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains known worldwide simply as braille, blinded in both eyes as a result of an early childhood accident, Braille mastered his disability while still a boy. He excelled in his education and received scholarship to Frances Royal Institute for Blind Youth, while still a student there, he began developing a system of tactile code that could allow blind people to read and write quickly and efficiently. Inspired by the cryptography of Charles Barbier, Braille constructed a new method built specifically for the needs of the blind. He presented his work to his peers for the first time in 1824, in adulthood, Braille served as a professor at the Institute and had an avocation as a musician, but he largely spent the remainder of his life refining and extending his system. It went unused by most educators for years after his death, but posterity has recognized braille as a revolutionary invention. Louis Braille was born in Coupvray, France, a town about twenty miles east of Paris. He and his three elder siblings – Monique Catherine, Louis-Simon, and Marie Céline – lived with their parents, Simon-René and Monique, Simon-René maintained a successful enterprise as a leatherer and maker of horse tack. As soon as he could walk, Braille spent time playing in his fathers workshop, at the age of three, the child was toying with some of the tools, trying to make holes in a piece of leather with an awl. Squinting closely at the surface, he pressed down hard to drive the point in, a local physician bound and patched the affected eye and even arranged for Braille to be met the next day in Paris by a surgeon, but no treatment could save the damaged organ. Due to his age, Braille did not realize at first that he had lost his sight. His parents made many efforts – quite uncommon for the era – to raise their youngest child in a normal fashion and he learned to navigate the village and country paths with canes his father hewed for him, and he grew up seemingly at peace with his disability. Brailles bright and creative mind impressed the teachers and priests. Braille studied in Coupvray until the age of ten, Braille, the last of the familys children to leave the household, departed for the school in February 1819. At that time the Royal Institute was an underfunded, ramshackle affair, the children were taught how to read by a system devised by the schools founder, Valentin Haüy. Not blind himself, Haüy was a philanthropist who devoted his life to helping the blind and he designed and manufactured a small library of books for the children using a technique of embossing heavy paper with the raised imprints of Latin letters. Readers would trace their fingers over the text, comprehending slowly, Braille was helped by the Haüy books, but he also despaired over their lack of depth, the amount of information kept in such books was necessarily small. Because the raised letters were made in a complex artisanal process using wet paper pressed against copper wire, so that the young Louis could send letters back home, Simon-René provided him with an alphabet made from bits of thick leather
Charles Robert Darwin, FRS FRGS FLS FZS was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his contributions to the science of evolution. Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, by the 1870s, the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. In modified form, Darwins scientific discovery is the theory of the life sciences. Darwins early interest in nature led him to neglect his education at the University of Edinburgh, instead. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science, puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin began detailed investigations and in 1838 conceived his theory of natural selection. Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and he was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay that described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories. Darwins work established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature, in 1871 he examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history, and he was honoured by burial in Westminster Abbey. Charles Robert Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, on 12 February 1809, at his familys home and he was the fifth of six children of wealthy society doctor and financier Robert Darwin and Susannah Darwin. He was the grandson of two prominent abolitionists, Erasmus Darwin on his fathers side, and Josiah Wedgwood on his mothers side, both families were largely Unitarian, though the Wedgwoods were adopting Anglicanism. The eight-year-old Charles already had a taste for history and collecting when he joined the day school run by its preacher in 1817. From September 1818, he joined his older brother Erasmus attending the nearby Anglican Shrewsbury School as a boarder and he found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so neglected his studies. He learned taxidermy in around 40 daily hour-long sessions from John Edmonstone, one day, Grant praised Lamarcks evolutionary ideas. Darwin was astonished by Grants audacity, but had recently read similar ideas in his grandfather Erasmus journals, Darwin was rather bored by Robert Jamesons natural-history course, which covered geology - including the debate between Neptunism and Plutonism. He learned the classification of plants, and assisted with work on the collections of the University Museum, as Darwin was unqualified for the Tripos, he joined the ordinary degree course in January 1828. He preferred riding and shooting to studying, when his own exams drew near, Darwin focused on his studies and was delighted by the language and logic of William Paleys Evidences of Christianity. In his final examination in January 1831 Darwin did well, coming out of 178 candidates for the ordinary degree. Darwin had to stay at Cambridge until June 1831, inspired with a burning zeal to contribute, Darwin planned to visit Tenerife with some classmates after graduation to study natural history in the tropics
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was an American physician, poet, and polymath based in Boston. A member of the Fireside Poets, he was acclaimed by his peers as one of the best writers of the day and his most famous prose works are the Breakfast-Table series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. He was also an important medical reformer, in addition to his work as an author and poet, Holmes also served as a physician, professor, lecturer, and inventor, and although he never practiced it, he received formal training in law. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Holmes was educated at Phillips Academy, after graduating from Harvard in 1829, he briefly studied law before turning to the medical profession. He began writing poetry at an age, one of his most famous works. Following training at the medical schools of Paris, Holmes was granted his M. D. from Harvard Medical School in 1836. He taught at Dartmouth Medical School before returning to teach at Harvard and, for a time, Holmes retired from Harvard in 1882 and continued writing poetry, novels and essays until his death in 1894. Many of his works were published in The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine that he named, for his literary achievements and other accomplishments, he was awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world. Holmess writing often commemorated his native Boston area, and much of it was meant to be humorous or conversational, some of his medical writings, notably his 1843 essay regarding the contagiousness of puerperal fever, were considered innovative for their time. He was often called upon to issue occasional poetry, or poems written specifically for an event, Holmes also popularized several terms, including Boston Brahmin and anesthesia. Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 29,1809 and his birthplace, a house just north of Harvard Yard, was said to have been the place where the Battle of Bunker Hill was planned. He was the first son of Abiel Holmes, minister of the First Congregational Church and avid historian, Sarah was the daughter of a wealthy family, and Holmes was named for his maternal grandfather, a judge. The first Wendell, Evert Jansen, left the Netherlands in 1640 and settled in Albany, also through his mother, Holmes was descended from Massachusetts Governor Simon Bradstreet and his wife, Anne Bradstreet, the first published American poet. From a young age, Holmes was small and suffered from asthma, when he was eight, he took his five-year-old brother, John, to witness the last hanging in Cambridges Gallows Lot and was subsequently scolded by his parents. After being exposed to such as John Dryden, Alexander Pope and Oliver Goldsmith. His first recorded poem, which was copied down by his father, was written when he was 13, although a talented student, the young Holmes was often admonished by his teachers for his talkative nature and habit of reading stories during school hours. He studied under Dame Prentiss and William Bigelow before enrolling in what was called the Port School, One of his schoolmates was future critic and author Margaret Fuller, whose intellect Holmes admired. Holmess father sent him to Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, Abiel chose Phillips, which was known for its orthodox Calvinist teachings, because he hoped his oldest son would follow him into the ministry
Thomas Paine was an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of human rights. He has been called a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, virtually every rebel read his powerful pamphlet Common Sense, proportionally the all-time best-selling American title, which crystallized the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. His The American Crisis was a pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote Rights of Man, in part a defense of the French Revolution against its critics and his attacks on Anglo-Irish conservative writer Edmund Burke led to a trial and conviction in absentia in 1792 for the crime of seditious libel. In 1792, despite not being able to speak French, he was elected to the French National Convention, the Girondists regarded him as an ally. Consequently, the Montagnards, especially Robespierre, regarded him as an enemy, in December 1793, he was arrested and was taken to Luxembourg Prison in Paris. While in prison, he continued to work on The Age of Reason, future President James Monroe used his diplomatic connections to get Paine released in November 1794. He also published the pamphlet Agrarian Justice, discussing the origins of property, in 1802, he returned to the U. S. where he died on June 8,1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity, Paine was born on January 29,1736, the son of Joseph Pain and Frances, in Thetford, Norfolk, England. Joseph was a Quaker and Frances an Anglican, born Thomas Pain, despite claims that he changed his family name upon his emigration to America in 1774, he was using Paine in 1769, while still in Lewes, Sussex. He attended Thetford Grammar School, at a time there was no compulsory education. At the age of 13, he was apprenticed to his stay-maker father, Paine researchers contend his fathers occupation has been widely misinterpreted to mean that he made the stays in ladies corsets, which likely was an insult later invented by his political foes. Actually, the father and apprentice son made the thick rope stays used on sailing ships, Thetford historically had maintained a brisk trade with the downriver, then major, port town of Kings Lynn. A connection to shipping and the sea explains why, in adolescence, Thomas enlisted and briefly served as a privateer. There, he became a master stay-maker, establishing a shop in Sandwich, on September 27,1759, Thomas Paine married Mary Lambert. Mary became pregnant, and, after they moved to Margate, she went into labor, in which she