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Doctor offers diagnosis in Charles Darwin medical mystery

Publié par Clifford Armion le 14/12/2009

Owen Bowcott

""Survival of the fittest" may have been the phrase adopted by Charles Darwin to dramatise his ideas, but the proponent of evolution was himself rarely a healthy man. Now an Australian doctor has offered a belated diagnosis of the recurrent bouts of debilitating illness from which the celebrated 19th-century scientist suffered.

"John Hayman, associate professor at Monash Univerity in Melbourne, suggested that the author of On the Origin of Species was the victim of an unusual inherited disorder known as "cyclical vomiting syndrome".

"The precise nature of Darwin's condition, which intermittently erupted into a peculiar set of physical symptoms, has long been a historical and medical mystery. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, stomach and skin problems troubled him for most of his adult life. At times he was so disabled by his illness that he became a virtual recluse."

Pour citer cette ressource :

"Doctor offers diagnosis in Charles Darwin medical mystery", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), décembre 2009. Consulté le 09/03/2021. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/archives/archives-revue-de-presse/doctor-offers-diagnosis-in-charles-darwin-medical-mystery