and philosophers on the other. Two epic clashes in this war occurred, the first initiated at Gottingen, the second at Oxford. Comparative anatomy was the battlefield and in particular the physical anthropology of skulls and brains. Christian anthropologists such as Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840) and James Prichard (1786-1848) upheld the unity of mankind, which to many implied that differences between human races are small as compared to those between humans and the anthropoid apes. A search continued for anatomical differences that would set Hömö sapiens apart from the animal world and that might prove to be 'organs of the soul'. At Gottingen, Rudolph Wagner (180564), who was professor of anatomy in succession to Blumenbach, curated and augmented the famous collection of human skulls which his predecessor had amassed. Like his namesake and friend Andreas Wagner, Rudolph Wagner was concerned with the origin and distribution of human races across the surface of the globe.36 Both Wagners followed Blumenbach as well as the Heidelberg anatomist Friedrich Tiedemann (1781-1861) in arguing for the biblical belief in the unity of the human race, to which Rudolph Wagner added his conviction that there is a life after death, and that humans differ from animals in that they have a soul - a direct gift from God.
Controversy over the issue flared up in Germany in the context of the so-called 'Materialismusstreit', engendered by attempts to put science before the cart of materialist and positivist philosophy. The soul has no independent reality from the brain - it was famously asserted - and is as much its product as are the various bodily fluids of other organs. In 1854 the Versammlung deutscher Naturforscher und Arzte (on which organisation the British Association for the Advancement of Science was modelled) met in Gottingen, when Rudolph Wagner addressed the assembly on 'Menschenschöpfung und Seelensubstanz' (creation of mankind and the soul's substance). He argued that there are no physiological grounds for denying the existence of an independent, immaterial soul, and that the moral order of society requires us to assume the soul's existence. This address was published, and republished, Wagner adding among other things that in matters of faith he preferred the simple 'Kohlerglauben' (the faith of a charcoal-burner). This expression provided Carl Vogt (1817-95), known for his scientific materialism and political radicalism, with the title of a scathing counter-booklet, Köhlerglauben und Wissenschaft (1856), in which he denounced Wagner's Christian piety. Wagner countered with his Der Kampf um die Seele (1857) and subsequently made capital out of the fact that he had in
36 Soulimani, Naturkunde, pp. 224-353.
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