The Founder of Modern Medicine Was Batshit Insane
While people have used natural remedies for as long as people have existed, the idea of popping a synthetically produced pill is a fairly new one. It's one thing to chew on some coca leaves because you think they have the magical ability to cure your menstrual cramps; it's another to separate and mix chemicals explicitly created to fix your problem. For that giant leap in medical thought, we can thank a 16th century Swiss doctor named Paracelsus. Also, he claimed to have created a tiny person from old sperm and horse shit.
Like ya do.
The Crazy Behind the Science
Paracelsus' revolutionary idea was the concept that sickness came from outside agents, and that those agents could be fixed with the right medication. These two huge innovations paved the way for everything from modern day antibiotics to shady diet pills. Paracelsus also believed that the human body was a perfect little microcosm of the entire universe -- not just that we were made of the elements that made up the rest of what's out there, but that the seven known planets and seven known metals of the time were represented by the seven major organs of the body. And good news! If the poisons from space were the things causing sickness inside the body, the elements from space could also cure the disease. Well ... that's sort of right, we suppose.
It's pretty damn close for a guy who spent his entire life pooping in buckets.
But he didn't stop there by a long haul. Going on the strength of his belief that the human body was made of the same stuff as the rest of the universe, he thought that he could build his own human with the right materials. And that's what he did: He cooked some sperm in a test tube, buried it in horse dung for 40 weeks, and claimed to have produced a real talking little person by the end of the experiment.
And thus did Karl Rove come into the world.