Scientific Discoveries of the 19th Century

Essay by Hello KittyCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

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In the nineteenth-century scientists made remarkable discoveries. These scientists and their discoveries helped pave the way for future discoveries in science and technology. Some of the famous names from the nineteenth-century are Charles Darwin, Joseph Lister, Allessandro Volta, Gregor Mendel, Louis Pasteur, and many more.

People used think that every life form now on Earth was here from the start and that no new species had been born and none had ever changed. Charles Darwin wanted to prove that Earth is ever changing. Darwin set out to prove this with his major scientific theory of evolution called, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. His theory revealed the dynamic nature on life on Earth. Darwin stated that all complex organisms developed from simple forms through the operation of natural causes, challenged traditionalist Christian beliefs on creation and altered views of life on Earth.

His explanation radically affected the views of the scientific community. He set the way for August Weismann and Gregor Mendel in the study of organisms, mutation, and chromosomes. Darwin's idea of evolution by random natural selection will always dominate biological thought.

Joseph Lister is another man that contributed to a great finding in the nineteenth-century. Joseph Lister was a British surgeon, who discovery of antiseptics in 1865 greatly reduced the number of deaths due to operating room infections. Before Lister many thought hat gangrene and other infections were caused by bad air. Lister proved surgeons and other theorists wrong. Lister sprayed the air with carbolic acid, a chemical that was then being used to treat bad smelling sewers. By applying carbolic acid to instruments and directly to wounds and dressings, Lister reduced surgical mortality to nearly twelve percent in 1869 and by 1900 sophisticated and much safer surgical procedures were...