An Introduction to Magical Biology


Though it may seem to have a shorter history than non-magical biology, magical and non-magical biology actually began at the same time approximately 2,000 years ago. However, magical biology’s history is much more sparse than non-magical due to the separation of the two cultures and reign of dark lords.  

Early Biology

As is the case with non-magical biology, magical biology largely stems from the teachings of the Greco-Roman philosophers. Several non-magical biologists will cite Hippocrates as the father of western medicine. What these biologists don’t know, however, is that Hippocrates was actually a wizard and was also the father of magical biology. Hippocrates was born in 460 B.C.E. in Greece. Hippocrates postulated the idea of humorism, that there are four bodily fluids and that illness is caused by an imbalance of these fluids. Based on this idea, Hippocrates developed a systematic method to diagnose and treat patients. Hippocrates originally developed his concept of humorism based on wizarding belief of the time. At the time, many wizards believed that they had a magical core that interacted with the bodily fluids to reach the optimum balance so that they could perform powerful magical feats. If there was an imbalance between the magical core and the bodily fluids, magical people believed they would develop a magical sickness or that their magic would be decreased. Hippocrates also established the Hippocratic School of Medicine, a school in which young wizards could study medicine. Hippocrates taught at the school until his death in 370 B.C.E.

Aristotle was also a prevalent figure in magical biology. This Grecian was born in Stagirus in 384 B.C.E. He attended Plato’s Academy as part of his wizarding education and excelled in his studies. Aristotle is probably best known for his multitude of writings, covering a wide range of topics from biology to music. For non-magical humans, his work in logic is especially important as the foundation of logical argument and rhetoric. Aristotle, like Hippocrates, was also a wizard. In fact, he was the wizard who instructed Alexander the Great, covering both magical and non-magical topics. Due to the sheer volume of pertinent work that Aristotle produced, he is an important figure for both magical and non-magical society, especially with regard to his work in biology and the sciences. Aristotle died from unknown causes in 322 B.C.E.

When discussing Greco-Roman magical philosophers, no discussion is complete without the mention of Galen. Galen is one of the younger Greco-Romans, born in 129 C.E., a full 589 years after Hippocrates. Galen is considered by non-magical humans as the father of modern surgery. His contributions to magical and non-magical biology are quite enormous, as he was able to influence the studies of neurology, pharmacology, physiology, pathology, and anatomy through his surgical findings. Galen was the first to suggest that the nervous system may play a part in the magic of witches and wizards. He also produced documents focused on logic, which still influence modern discourse. Galen continued his work until his death in 216 C.E.

The Impact of the Dark Ages/Witch Hunts

Unfortunately for all of mankind, the early advancements made by the Greco-Roman philosophers and their scientific descendents were lost to time with the beginning of the Dark Ages. Even within magical society, people forgot the advancements made and returned to more rudimentary thinking regarding illness. During the Dark Ages people believed that the Judeo-Christian Devil and demons caused a person to become ill. With the introduction of this belief, fear began to fester. Once society embraced magical and non-magical individuals equally. During the Dark Ages, however, magical beings began to be viewed as evil creatures in league with the Devil. Unfortunately, this idea was stoked from a small ember to a raging inferno by Thomas Aquinas.

Aquinas did not have any magic, but was thought to be the child of magical parents. According to lore, he became bitter at his lack of ability and began to speak out against all magical individuals. Even magical healers and the Cunning Folk, or good magic-users, became people to distrust. Aquinas claimed that all things magical were evil, even those that were doing good were truly evil and deceitful. Though this amagi did not begin the distrust between magical and non-magical society, he is the reason that the mistrust grew to a global scale, halting all possible scientific process. He is also responsible for the extension of the terrible Witch Trials, and therefore indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. The Witch Trials did not officially end until the repeal of the Witchcraft Act of 1735 in 1951. However, people are still tried for witchcraft in present-day Africa.

Separation Leading to Slowed Technology

There was much residual tension after the climax of the Witch Trials, leading to the Statute of Secrecy being enacted. The statute separated non-magical and magical society to preserve and protect both groups. After the statute was enacted the magical community began isolating themselves into smaller groups. This created a significant decrease in communication and distribution of knowledge. Bitter from the Witch Trials, magical communities rejected any non-magical discovery or invention, choosing to focus on advances in magical technique and previous concepts of magical society.

By the time the Industrial Revolution started magical and non-magical communities were almost completely separated. At this time, very little technology made its way into magical culture. This had a monumental impact on magical biology. Instead of following the concepts of scientific study, magical biologists and healers grew their crafts through trial and error. Unfortunately, this method led to many deaths as safety precautions were not utilized and the experimentation often resulted in an explosion or catastrophe.

Despite the almost constant deaths, the magical community continued to reject non-magical advances. Those that attempted to adopt non-magical technology were often banished from their magical community.

The Impact of Dark Lords

Dark Lords quickly developed the habit of killing witches and wizards who contributed to non-magical society after the enactment of the Statute of Secrecy. The first wizard killed by Dark Lords for his contribution to non-magical science was Edward Jenner. Jenner, born in England in 1749 C.E. became the father of immunization and is renowned for his contribution to the non-magical society. Jenner created the very first vaccine, and immunization against smallpox. Smallpox ravaged the earth in the 18th century, killing thousands. Jenner created his vaccine and made it available to the public, which drastically reduced the deadliness of smallpox. As a wizard, Jenner created his vaccine using magic combined with scientific experimentation. Dark Lords took notice of Jenner when he began distributing his vaccine to non-magical people, as smallpox mainly targeted non-magical society, and killed Jenner in 1823. Smallpox is currently considered fully eradicated from society and it is solely due to the efforts made by Edward Jenner.

Another major contributor to magical biology whose life was cut short by Dark Lords was Gregor Mendel. Mendel can be seen as the most important historical figure of magical biology. He was born in Austrian Silesia in 1822 C.E. Mendel chose a separate path from many in the magical community by becoming an Augustinian Friar. He is considered best known for his contributions to genetics and inheritance. Mendel worked in the garden once a friar and began experimenting with pea plants. At this point in time it was thought that the traits of the parents mixed together to create the child. Mendel examined this thinking by documenting seven traits in pea plants and tracking the presence of traits in the plants’ offspring. Had society been correct, Mendel would expect to see that, when tall plants and short plants produce offspring, the new pea plant would be medium height. Luckily, despite his magic, Mendel chose to not interfere with the plants using magical means. This allowed the results produced to be accurate. Mendel concluded, after experimenting, that traits do not mix together. Traits, therefore, are distinct, one is dominant to the other, and it is possible for a plant showing dominant traits to produce a plant with non-dominant traits. According to official record, Mendel died of chronic nephritis in 1884. Recent findings have proven that Mendel was actually killed by dark wizards who saw his findings as a threat to the supposed superiority of magical people.

A Post-War World View

At the end of the final Wizard War magical individuals began to interact with the non-magical world without repercussions from dark wizards. Since then, wizards have prospered in previously non-magical fields. Technology was quickly adopted and is prevalent in modern society. Wizard scientists were able to adapt electronic products to work despite the magical field and computers can be found in almost every magical home as a result.

Once magical people began to study genetics they were able to improve non-magical techniques for mapping and observing DNA and mitochondrial DNA. Magical scientists have used these techniques to study a multitude of magical beings and discover our magical evolutionary history, though there is much more to learn.

Next Chapter: The Magical Nervous System