Europeans were dissecting human bodies, in order to discover how they worked, earlier than anywhere in the world. In the process, they acquired a minute understanding of the bodies’ systems—circulatory, skeletal, muscular, and nervous. This led to thinking of the body as a machine, with fixable and replaceable parts, rather than as a whole entity. Vast anatomical knowledge, along with an understanding of microbes as disease vectors, gave western biomedicine tremendous confidence that they would eventually be able to cure all disease.
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