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July 21, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(3):215. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650030039016

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One reason why the professional study of science in general, and medicine in particular, has failed to win public applause and gather popular support in larger measure than it does at present lies in the distortions and misrepresentations to which this department of learning has all too often been subjected. The quack and the impostor make no sincere pretense of adhering strictly to the known in heralding their claims; the pseudoscientist usually dresses his propaganda in a variety of raiment that may include ignorance, erroneous belief and mere conjecture. All too often, even the reputed scientist is found supporting a doctrine that is dangerously near uncertainty of demonstration, or rests at best on the basis of inadequate investigation. Much of the scientific teaching of today is permeated with a cock-sureness that is unwarranted by the meager facts of experience or experiment.

When the out-and-out fraud is perpetrated we do not

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