How would the Royal Society react to news of walking corpses and would germ theory or other medical sciences be advanced due to the study of them? What theories and conclusions about the cause and transmission of the disease are likely to be reached by scientific societies and/or individual natural philosophers? The year is 1715, the zombies are walking dead style and some have been successfully captured to be studied.

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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting idea, but it seems both broad and opinion-based. Generally, we like refined questions on this site. By posting seven, and then saying "you don't have to answer all of the questions", you are creating more of a discussion than something people can give definite answers to - hence the broadness. Additionally, my guess is as good as the next as to what Lemuel Gulliver will choose to do, or what the Royal Society's decisions would be given such strange circumstances - making this opinion-based. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Jan 22 '17 at 3:36
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    $\begingroup$ Impossible to answer without knowing nature of your version of Zombies. Mystical zombies will have extremely different impact than virus Zombies, and only author of the question can decide which ones they are. $\endgroup$ – M i ech Jan 22 '17 at 5:52
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    $\begingroup$ May I suggest you distill your question to something specific like: "What if during an 18th Century zombie apocalypse the Parliament of Great Britain turned to the Royal Society for help?" Please note the term "scientist" wasn't invented until the mid-19th Century, by one William Whewell, and only came into widespread use during the 20th Century. You tend to ask multiple questions related to your topic & the focus gets lost in the divergent thicket of proliferating issues. Try & focus on one key aspect. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 22 '17 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ This is fun, but totally understandable why it's gotten close votes and why you didn't get many answers in the past. The format on here is tricky to learn. You should eliminate ALL your what-if questions--because they make this WAY too broad. We aren't supposed to be about discussion. It happens, but, we aren't supposed to be. Focus instead on "How would the Royal society approach this, given the the science of the day?" $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Jan 22 '17 at 17:20

OK, I'll bite. The stated question is,

How would early 18th century scientists and the community react to news of these walking corpses?

The community will likely react with torches and pitchforks.

The scientists will be fascinated and will attempt to study the zombies, if they can figure out a way to do so safely.

Animation/re-animation (and the nature of life itself) were being actively studied by the Royal Society members and other 'gentleman scientists.' In fact, the basis for Mary Shelly's Frankenstein is probably Johann Dippel -- who lived in Castle Frankenstein itself and was very involved in re-animation attempts:


A minor point re diction and clarity: Without context, the phrase, 'zombie scientists' could either mean scientists who study zombies, or zombies who study unspecified things. Please don't discount zombie scientists, some of them are among our cleverest braaiins: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/397:_Unscientific


The zombies would be labeled as witchcraft, most likely. Worst case scenario, people would go on a witch hunt, providing more bodies to be infected. If there's only one or two zombies, the peoples would try to kill them, or burn them at the stake. if it was a full apocalypse then humanity's screwed. If you're in a wizards and witchcraft scenario, humanity's fine.


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