Where there's a willBMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39289.512512.59 (Published 16 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:351
- Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor
As everyone knows, the philosopher Francis Bacon was one of the founders of the empirical method in the sciences. Indeed, he was almost a martyr to it, for one day he alighted from his coach to gather snow with which to stuff a dead chicken to establish whether or not refrigeration preserved animal flesh, and in so doing caught a fatal chill.
What, I wonder, is the empirical evidence that behaving as Bacon behaved predisposes to fatal infections? Certainly as a child I behaved like it all the time, for I obstinately refused to wear a coat in winter or take any notice of the holes in my shoes when walking in the rain. Perhaps it …