Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

The Royal Society of Medicine of London: A brief history

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, England   RSM, 1 Wimpole Street, London. Photo by Philafrenzy, 2017, on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. The origins of the Royal Society of Medicine in London can be traced back to 1805. It was in that year that a breakaway group of learned physicians and surgeons formed a new medical society, […]

Book review: How the Mind Changed: A Human History of Our Evolving Brain

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, United Kingdom   Cover of How the Mind Changed: A Human History of Our Evolving Brain by Joseph Jebelli. The human brain has long been a source of wonder and a fascinating subject for study. Philosophers, scientists, biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and medical scholars have spent lifetimes studying the brain and how […]

Love as illness: Symptomatology

Frank Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Sappho as imagined by Raphael in the fresco known as Parnassus in the Raphael rooms in the Palace of the Vatican (c. 1509–1511). She appears in a corner of the fresco, holding a scroll with her name. Via Wikimedia. Is love a disease? I mean erotic, […]

Pursuing Hualapai tigers in the Mule Mountains

Stephen A. Klotz Justin O. Schmidt Tucson, Arizona, United States   Figure 1. The culprit. Adult Triatoma recurva. Photo by Jillian Cowles. Published with permission. Every Monday afternoon after returning to my office from infectious disease clinic, I would find pickle jars and yogurt containers on my desk. Upon removing the lids and peering in, I […]

When Darwin was wrong

John Hayman Victoria, Australia   Fig. 1. The Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, as would have been seen by Darwin. (Photo by Bev Biggs.) Charles Darwin (1809-1802) is rightly famous, not for the discovery of evolution but for revealing the mechanism by which it may occur, natural selection. He not only formulated this idea, but […]

Thomas Henry Huxley

JMS Pearce East Yorks, England   Fig 1. TH Huxley. print by Lock & Whitfield. 1880 or earlier. Via Wikimedia. “In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration . . . In matters of the intellect, do not pretend that conclusions are […]

Animality revisited in times of the coronavirus: A fable

Frank Gonzalez-Crussi Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1. Jacob Savery (1566-1603). Orpheus among the animals. From Wikimedia. Imagine, as painters have done, representatives of animal species congregated in an assembly (Fig. 1). A man comes to address this motley crowd in this way: “You guys [he purposefully adopts this condescending language] have recently wronged […]

The other Charles Darwin (1758-1778)

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig 1. Erasmus Darwin and William Withering. “Precursoritis” is the bane of historiography.” – Stephen Jay Gould   One of the best-known and important discoveries in the practice of medicine was the introduction of digitalis by William Withering (Fig 1). It was the subject of controversy that involved […]

The X Club

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Fig. 1 TH Huxley Wikipedia: This work is in the public domain Charles Babbage, who conceived the first automatic digital computer, published in 1830 Reflections on the Decline of Science in England. This stimulated the formation of several new groups that aimed to further scientific progress and exchange […]

Eugenics: historic and contemporary

JMS Pearce Hull, England, United Kingdom   Moral judgments, changing ethical criteria, and the broader concepts of good and evil are always controversial, and often dangerous. Prominent amongst such judgments are those relating to population control and the wider, ill-defined field of eugenics. Hidden, and often ignored or denied in these conversations, is the underlying […]