Antique illustrations


The National Library of Medicine has released scans of classic science texts from the 15th-16th century — they’re beautiful.

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And the amazing thing is, they’re still better science than anything you’ll find from a creationist!

Comments

  1. Zeno says

    Creationists don’t have a lot of creativity when it comes to their arguments against science. They just keep repackaging the same old stuff. So sad.

    Meanwhile, science keeps moving along and piling up even more evidence (as if it were needed) to refute the creationists. So glad.

  2. Brain Hertz says

    And the amazing thing is, they’re still better science than anything you’ll find from a creationist!

    Cue creationists screaming that all of the original authors and artists were actually creationists in 3… 2… 1…

  3. Cuttlefish, OM says

    Your octopus is
    One simple page away from
    The page for mermaids.

    (still better science than creationism!)

  4. Brownian, OM says

    Cue creationists screaming that all of the original authors and artists were actually creationists in 3… 2… 1…

    Weren’t they? They certainly weren’t modern creationists (being actually interested in the world around them to meticulously draw something seems beyond the ken of cdesign “Let’s just steal this John Lennon song and this XVIVO animation” proponentsists), but neither were they evolutionists.

  5. Brain Hertz says

    Brownian,
    sure, and I wasn’t meaning to imply otherwise (however, it is kind of pointless to categorize historical people according to whether they accepted a theory that hadn’t actually been postulated at the time).

    I was only commenting on the inevitability of creationists showing up to argue the point ;-).

    In other news, I have strong evidence that Sir Isaac Newton, one of the greatest physicists of all time who had more impact on physics than any other single person in the entire history of science evar, didn’t believe in the theory of relativity. (Either of them!!!). This surely must be a huge blow for the Einsteinists.

  6. Bix12 says

    Very cool illustrations.

    I’ve had a large print of Hooke’s “Flea” hanging on my wall for some time now–the detail is amazing.

    Poor old Hooke, btw–apparently he ended up Sir Isaac Newton’s shitlist (they were contemporaries) and subsequently had a tough go of it all because of that.

  7. boygenius says

    Sven@3,

    That looks like a GD concert poster. The skeleton isn’t clasping its hands in prayer, rather contemplating the opening notes of a good Saint Stephen.

  8. Steven Mading says

    One of the things I’m always impressed with about biologists from that era is how they had to be both good scientists AND good artists. The ability to draw the animals and plants being studied was a prerequisite for getting your ideas across in that pre-photography era.

  9. OmiOne says

    @Cuttlefish, OM (#4)

    Only for the record, the text associated with the mermaid page reads:

    The Sea Monster and The Hydra

    Gesner is extremely skeptical of the existence of sea monsters, but he feels it necessary to mention them because he cannot absolutely refute earlier descriptions of them.

    In Greek mythology, the hydra was a seven-headed monster slain by Hercules. Gesner considers it to be imaginary but includes it because of a recently published pamphlet about a seven-headed snake found in Turkey.

  10. DesertHedgehog says

    Lovely illustration.

    And perhaps a bit off-topic, but…does anyone recall an article in New Yorker some years back about scientific illustration and decrying the death of sketching skills in science? I remember reading it and liking it (note: I’m hopelessly art-challenged; Stick Man and Stick Giraffe are the limit of my skills) and wondering what people who were in the sciences these days thought about sketching/drawing…or about scientific illustration as art…