Jean Baptist Van Helmont Jean Term Paper

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However, he
began to introduce supernatural agents into his theories, such as the
archae of Paracelsus, which preside over bodily affairs and functions. He
believed that diseases were caused by the archae being affected, so cures
were attained by remedying and appeasing these supernatural forces.
Van Helmont was one of the first scientists or alchemists to begin to
understand and teach that the body is affected by chemicals and applied
chemical principles to physiological problems. One of the main things that
we may be grateful to van Helmont for is his development of the "scientific
method," in which experiments are carefully documented and observed.
Instead of using reason or thought to solve a chemical problem, one used
practical application and created an experiment which sometimes might yield
surprising results, results that were not available simply through the
thought process.
Van Helmont sought support for his theories in the Bible and teachings
of the ancient philosophers, but when he did practical experiments he found
that some results could not be accounted for by his theories. He did an
experiment to produce gas, which he believed was in everything and could be
released by heating. To prove this, he heated 62 pounds of charcoal and
found only 1 pound of ashes remained.
The rest, 61 pounds, he concluded, had changed into a spirit or "gas sylvestre" which could not be contained. He also burned organic matter, alcohol and fermented wine and beer, which all produced "gas sylvestre." Van Helmont concluded that our internal organs used fermentation and acid in the digestive process. Today we may be grateful to van Helmont for bringing the scientific method into practical application, through controlled experiments. His findings and theories on gases and the digestive process started experimentation and thinking along those lines in the application of medicine. He also introduced the concept of curing internal problems by treating them with chemicals, tailored according to the specific complaints which might arise in each individual. Van Helmont's theories put succeeding scientists on the right track to discovering how chemicals and gases work. Works Cited Edwards, Quinn. "Photosynthesis and Optimizing Algae Growth in a Bioreactor". Introduction to Biophotonics. Logan, Utah: Utah State University. 28 Apr 2006. . NNDB. Jan Baptist van Helmont. Soylent Communications. 2006. ......

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