Chapter

For God and Country

Michael J. Aminoff

in Sir Charles Bell

Published on behalf of © Michael J. Aminoff

Published in print September 2016 | ISBN: 9780190614966
Published online September 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190614997 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780190614966.003.0010
For God and Country

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Charles Bell and his wife both had ecclesiastical backgrounds. Like many contemporary scientists, Bell was a creationist who believed in intelligent design. He not only published notes and supplementary dissertations to William Paley’s Natural Theology but also wrote a treatise on Animal Mechanics and a Bridgewater Treatise on The Hand. Natural theology had begun to decline in importance in the 1830s, however, seeming increasingly tired and dated in an era of change. Bell’s anatomical teaching—framed on the concept of intelligent design—was thus overshadowed by the concepts of Buffon, Geoffroy, Lamarck, Robert Grant, and Charles Darwin and by the teachings of younger, more modern professors. Nevertheless, national honors came his way—the Gold (Royal) Medal of the Royal Society for his work on the nervous system and a knighthood in 1831.

Chapter.  7574 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neurology ; History of Medicine ; History of Neuroscience

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