JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.
EDWIN TAYLOR SHELLY, M.D.
Man has always and everywhere been the plaything of the supernatural, a helpless rodent under the cruel claws of the black cat of superstition. Now and then an individual has escaped from his tormentor, but for the vast hordes of humanity this has been impossible and continues so in varying degree in every inhabited portion of the globe to this day. To the whims and caprices of gods of its own making has mankind too easily been lead in the past to attribute every misfortune and every unusual natural phenomenon. No wonder, therefore, that the ancients often accounted in this way for the startling and sometimes hideous defects and deformities known to teratology.
SUPERSTITION IN TERATOLOGY.. JAMA. 2007;297(4):418. doi:10.1001/jama.297.4.418