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Biology's cornerstone is Evolution

  1. Jun 12, 2003 #1
    I'm not positive that this is the appropriate Forum to post this thread in, but I trust that it will be moved if it needs to be.

    I've been thinking about the cornerstones of the different fields of Science. By "cornerstone", I mean a theory that is at the very heart of practically ever discovery made in the field, and that everyone in that field just obviously knows about. (Note: "cornerstone theories" are not what the field itself was founded on.) I've also been thinking about the people who came up with these grand theories (since they (the "founders" of these theories) are usually extremely well-known, not just by scientists, but by laymen also).

    I've come up with:
    Biology's cornerstone is Evolution. It's founder is Darwin. Everyone knows who Darwin is, and every Biologist must understand Evolution (btw, please correct me, if I get anything wrong in this post).

    Theoretical Physics has two cornerstones: Relativity and the Quantum Theory. The founder of Relativity (Einstein) is probably one of the most well-known historical figures in the world. Quantum theory doesn't really have a "founder", so to speak, but notable mentions would be Schrodinger and Heisenber. Every theoretical physicist must know the Quantum Theory and must know Relativity (even though the two happen to be (currently) incompatible).

    However, I can't think of any other "cornerstone" theories, for the other fields of science.

    Are there any others?
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2013
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  3. Jun 12, 2003 #2


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    Re: Cornerstones

    Evolution is important to biology but I would had genetics. So Mendel could be another biology's conerstone. the law he wrote still stick and we still study his work in basic biology.

    For chemistry i would put Niels Bohr for his work on the atom structure. Chemistry is base on atoms and their interactions. Mary Curie and who ever constructed the periodic table of elements could be conerstone.
  4. Jun 13, 2003 #3
    Re: Re: Cornerstones

    Good point.

    Thanks for that. I had been trying to see what the cornerstone of Chemistry was, but I don't really know much about Chemistry (in fact, it's probably my weakest field).
  5. Jun 13, 2003 #4


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    I wouldn't put the Bohr Model as a cornerstone since it is pretty much wrong all over the place. The quantum atom is MUCH more wierd.

    For Chemistry, I would put Mendelev and his periodic table, and Lavoissier, Einstien et al who perfected the atomic theory of matter. The Avogadro constant probably also features. Quantum Mechanics also kinda fits into this one as well.
  6. Jun 13, 2003 #5
    So what about astronomy? Would that be Copernicus for setting up the solar-centric system, or is there some other theory that is more of a "cornerstone"?
  7. Jun 13, 2003 #6

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    Watson and Crick deserve a mention for their theory, which is so important to biology now, that its easily forgotten as being important. Well 'Der' DNA is what transmits the genetic code...
    But someone had to put the pieces together in the begining

    Psychology? : Freud would be the obvious name. Psychology is a pretty crazy field though.

    And then i just want to mention Karl Popper, the guy who has to date put the best effort into pin pointing what 'Science' is...
  8. Jun 15, 2003 #7


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    For astronomy, we are probably talking Newtonian Classical Mechanics and General Relativity which together would describe almost all of the universe as a we can observe it. Hmm... a lot of overlaps here...
  9. Jun 15, 2003 #8
    I would add Descartes too, though both he and Freud's theories have been under extreme scrutiny in modern Psychology.
  10. Jun 15, 2003 #9
    Though I put Relativity as a cornerstone of Theoretical Physics, I think mainstream Physics' "cornerstone" would probably be Newtonian Mechanics, wouldn't it?
  11. Jun 16, 2003 #10
    another in chemisry, Jons Jacob Berzelins was the first to assign number and rank to the elements. i think
  12. Jun 16, 2003 #11
    Man, y'all don't know nothing 'bout no chemistry.

    The father of all modern chemistry is OSU's own Linus "two frikkin Nobels" Pauling. Truly a god among insects.
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