As the name suggests, it is one of the most important books about biology written in English, where most Biologists prefer. The 1950s is the period of domination by DNA; maybe the time has come again.
About the Author
Thompson was a professor of natural history who was born in 1860. The Nobel prize awardee Peter Medawar described him as “an aristocrat of learning whose intellectual endowments are not likely ever again to be combined within one man.” Medawar reviewed the book On Growth and Form, and he believed that the book is beyond comparison as it is the finest work of literature in all the annals of science recorded in English.
Understanding the book gets more accessible if we get to know about biology back in the times. Natural history is a study of creatures that can be seen not just as molecules assemblies or passive vehicles at mercy but as wondrous beings which appear in beautiful colours, habits, and shapes.
On Growth And Form
On Growth and Form is the explanation of living organisms that are as much as inanimate crystals and are subjected to the physical forces determining the shapes. The myriads in the sea have crystal forms matching the snowflakes. The drop of water and a jellyfish have a similar configuration and consider the honeycomb’s compartments’ almost perfect hexagonal factor. Darwin attributes the bee’s elegance and instincts or conscious intentions. Thomson shows how the six-sided columns are formed by giving examples when you squeeze the bread piece together.
These biological features are Followed by the mathematical what does. The sunflower seed head spirals, which are like the whorls of the pine cone, are arranged in a series of Fibonacci, in which each turn of spiral some up to the number of seeds to two preceding numbers, 1,1,2,3,5,8 and so on.
Test of time
Not every part of On growth and form has not stood the test of time. In the discussion of cell structure, new techniques are added, like Thompson’s morphology shapes and the physical force that determines its abundance to any reference of Biochemistry or physiology. Emphasises. He was surprised to see how the double helix of DNA, multiply and structures of proteins, for the crystalline form of a virus confirmed his mathematical principles. Though his formulae have been uncovered, he would indeed have acknowledged the biochemical processes elegantly which lye under the pattern formation.
in the downplay of the role of natural selection of Thomson, there were more fundamental differences that lay and were the reason for his failure to recognise the biology e as a historical propounded discipline. It is so much of the present than that of the past.