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Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc de

( Scientific XVIII century)

Comments for Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc de
Biography Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc de
. Buffon for the natural figure of not less than majestic, . than Linney, . but, . unlike the latter a French scientist, not only did not recognize the divine in creation of the world, . but his life, . all its research devoted to the liberation of science from metaphysics and theology, . design and construction of natural science theories of origin of the Earth, . Animals, . plants and human,

Buffon was the eldest of five de-dren rich burgundy squire. Three of his brothers subsequently selected spiritual career and reached a high position in the church hierarchy. Georges-Louis had expected a different fate. In 10 years the boy was sent to a Jesuit college in Dijon, where shortly before his family moved. He was a rather mediocre, and the only thing that interested him at the time, was a mathematics. Father Byuf background wanted the eldest son became a lawyer, so after college boy three or four years, studied law. However, enthusiasm for mathematics and science prevailed, and in 1728, Georges-Louis moved to Angers, where began his studies in medicine, botany and mathematics. In 1730, due to participation in the duel he had to abandon everything and flee from France. Fortunately, he met with the young Duke of Kingston and his mentor, Nathaniel Hikmanom and went with them in a long journey. Buffon returned home only two years. During this time his mother died, leaving his son a significant condition. Using this, Buffon, against the wishes of his father, he settled in Paris. Here he quickly became known as a political and academic circles. Already in 1734 for his mathematical research, especially in the field of probability theory, he was elected to the Paris Academy of Natural Sciences. But the mathematics of the scope of his interests are not confined. He studied botany, forestry, conducted observations of the reproduction of animals, and in addition has translated 'method fluxions and infinite series' I.Nyu-tone and 'vegetable statics' S.Gey-LSA.

A new stage in the life Buffon began in 1739, when he was appointed intendant of the royal garden. Buffon held that post until his death - as much as 50 years, and they all have passed an intensive, hard work. Every spring, Buffon went to the estate Montbard, where he was born, and the autumn and winter, always carried out in Paris. But wherever he was, always to plan your day. Buffon got up at dawn and noon sweating over research. Then came the turn of financial activities and business meetings. Over the years he managed to almost double the territory of the royal garden, has published numerous scientific papers on various topics, write a 36-volume "Natural History" and significantly augment its state. Buffon was a member of many scientific academies, including St. Petersburg, received a noble title, and his statue, made by order of Louis XVI, during the life of a scientist was put in front of the Royal Cabinet of Natural History. In 1753, Buffon was a member of the French Academy - one of the immortals '40 '.

In the works of Buffon's natural history was the leading idea of a natural origin of the world. He completely rejects interference in the process of any supernatural forces. Science, in his opinion, should be based not on faith but on laws derived from the nature.

For example, Buffon denied Newton's idea of the divine origin of the solar system, suggesting in this respect his own hypothesis. Ka-kai-a comet, flying in close proximity to the Sun, tore off part of its mass, from which it formed the planets and their satellites. All the subsequent history of the Earth viewed them as a series of logical successive eras: the gradual cooling of the planet and the formation of the crust, moisture condensation on its surface and the emergence of the ocean, . the emergence of life in it-no, the emergence of land (initially as a single continent) and land animals, the final separation of the continents and the formation of their modern appearance, the origin of man,

. This concept was one of the first attempts to give not only natural-scientific explanation of Earth's history, . but its universal chronology, . biological factors correlating with geological, . allowing many historians of science considered Buffon one of the founders of the modern global environment,

Based on his hypothesis, Buffon tried to experimentally establish the age of the Earth. After determining how much time cooling balls of different materials depends on the size of their diameters, Buffon came to the conclusion that the earth exists not less than 75 thousand. years. A little later, explaining its calculations, Buffon has another meaning - 3 million. years. But that figure did not even dare to publish - it is preserved only in the drafts. The fact is that, according to Biblical tradition, the world was created between the VI and IV millennium BC. 75 thousand. years and it was too much. The reaction of the church at that date was sharply negative, however, as to the whole hypothesis of Buffon. There was even an anonymous pamphlet, . in which the scientist accused of almost of atheism: "While other writers, . entertained us the history of an individual insect, . able to elevate our thoughts to the Creator, . Mr. Buffon, . explaining the structure of the world, . allows us to almost ignore the Creator ',

Buffon and developed his own concept of the origin of life on Earth, the present distribution of animals on our planet and their diversity. He completely rejected the metaphysical idea of preformation, . that is, pre-existence of embryos in the parent body and inclined to the view of those, . who claimed, . that the germ responsible for the formation of a special 'food', . consisting of organic molecules,
. Such molecules, appearing in the development of the Earth, is further Buffon, were combined to form organisms. Many of them have disappeared, so they were not adapted to the environment. First, when the planet was still very hot, it could survive on only a very large animals. As the Earth cooled, they gradually withdrew from the North Pole to the equator. But in the end the natural conditions are unfavorable to them so that they became extinct. That is why, explained Buffon, the remains of the giant animals are found in Europe and North America. At the same time, the organic molecules preserved in the northern regions, formed more and more small animals. Born in Siberia, they penetrated into Asia, North America, as well as through the southern Euro-ny - in Africa. Only in South America they did not fit, so there's an original fauna. The smaller animals were, the faster they multiplied and the more varieties of them occurred in the migration. Accordingly, the species of large animals appeared much less.

Buffon one of the first to formulate the biological criterion vi-da - it applies only to those beings who, pairing, continue their family line and preserve the features inherent in this type of. Birth of a sterile, unable to reproduce, an animal (such as a mule) meant that his parents belong to different species. In terms of Buffon, the similarity in appearance and structure of the animal test species can not be taken - indeed, a mule is much more like a horse than a curly-haired spaniel on the English greyhound.

. For Buffon, view - this is the only systematic categories, as exists in nature
. All others, such as family, invented only for the convenience of those who classify living organisms, trying to cram this rich world in a rather artificial scheme. Here Buffon quite consistently fought against all forms of metaphysics. To Linnaeus, the creator of biological taxonomy, species were ultimately unchanged. In its search for a perfect system, he sought to understand and reveal the divine plan of creation. That is, apparently, and controversial Buffon.

Buffon himself was the classification, which considered a much more simple, enjoyable, useful, and no more speculative than any other. In her dog have been assigned to the horse, because in reality so far - the dog is always running after the horse. It is thus evident that the system is Buffon's not based on scientific facts, but in general quite subjective perceptions of the importance of certain objects.

In XVIII-XIX centuries the work of Buffon, extremely important because of their diversity, originality and impact on his contemporaries, huge editions were published in all European countries. They knew every self-respecting scientist. Since then, many years have passed, some ideas of Buffon confirmed, others were incorrect, but nevertheless of Buffon remember his name be not forgotten. Write about it in textbooks and scientific treatises, and the case is not in detail, correctness or incorrectness of its assumptions, and that he laid the foundations of modern science, one of the first trying to make it an integral system.

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