Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fjordman: Human Accomplishment: Medicine and the Earth Sciences

Fjordman was busy while I was gone, and published several more installments in his “Human Accomplishment” series. The third part was posted at Tundra Tabloids; some excerpts are below:

The leading names in medicine are as follows: Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) of France; Hippocrates of Cos (ca. 460-375 BC);Robert Koch (1843-1910) of Germany (Prussia); Galen of Pergamum (ca. AD 129-200); Paracelsus (1493-1541) of Switzerland; Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915) of Germany; René Laennec (1781-1826) of France; Elmer McCollum (1879-1967) of the USA; Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) of Scotland; Ambroise Paré (1510-1590) of France; Emil von Behring (1854-1917) of Germany;Joseph Lister (1827-1912) of England; Kitasato Shibasaburo (1853-1931) of Japan; Thomas Sydenham (1624-1689) of England; the Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564); Gerhard Domagk (1895-1964) of Germany; Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) of France; Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) of Austria; John Hunter (1728-1793) of Scotland; and finally Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865) of Hungary.

Hunter and Semmelweis each have a score of 33, the same as Girolamo Fracastoro received. Hippocrates and Galen were founders of Western medicine as a profession although wrong in most of their medical pronouncements. Robert Koch, while less famous, was second only to Pasteur in establishing the germ theory of disease, the greatest revolution in medical history.

Just behind them follow the influential Greco-Roman pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides and the English immunologist Edward Jenner at 32 out of 100. Jenner’s work in the 1790s as the discoverer of vaccination for smallpox was so important that he deserves to be mentioned among the top twenty at least as much as Freud, although Freud here was ranked for purely medical contributions and the clinical description of mental illnesses, not for psychoanalysis.

Some other notable names in medicine are Thomas Addison, Leopold Auenbrugger, Thomas Beddoes, Claude Bernard, Herman Boerhaave, Daniel Bovet, Josef Breuer, Richard Bright, Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Joseph Caventou and Pierre Joseph Pelletier, Aulus Cornelius Celsus, Jean-Martin Charcot, Harvey Cushing, Pierre Fauchard, Werner Forssmann, William Halsted, Sahachiro Hata, Friedrich Henle, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Edwin Klebs, Friedrich Loeffler, Richard Lower, Patrick Manson, Giovanni Battista Morgagni, Philippe Pinel, Walter Reed, Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi (Rhazes), Howard Taylor Ricketts, Ronald Ross, Pierre Roux, Santorio Santorio and Thomas Clifford Allbutt, John Snow, Max Theiler, Rudolf Virchow, Selman Waksman, Thomas Willis and William Withering.

Alexandre Yersin was a Swiss-born French physician and bacteriologist and one of the discoverers of the plague bacillus believed to have caused the Black Death in Eurasia in the 1300s, now called Yersinia pestis in his honor. He is given the lowest possible rating of 1 out of 100 in biology and is not mentioned at all in medicine, although the Japanese co-discoverer Kitasato Shibasaburo receives a very high ranking. This represents a rather strange omission.

Read the rest at Tundra Tabloids.

Previously: Art, Music and Literature and Physics, Astronomy, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology.


Hesperado said...

Over three years ago, I stumbled across a dusty old article written in 1849 by a Western doctor who had traveled to the Middle East to observe medical practices.

The article in question is: “On the Present Condition of the Medical Profession in Syria”, by C. V. A. Van Dyck, in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 1, No. 4. (1849), pp. 559-591.

Even writing in 1849, Van Dyck (a doctor and Christian missionary to the Middle East) could discern the backward primitivism of Muslim societies and the comparatively advanced medicine of the West, already modern in his time. And we can be reasonably confidant that any significant progress in medicine that has been made in the Middle East since that time has been wholly due to Western influence.

Read more here.