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June 6, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XL(23):1586. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490230038005

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In these days of general information, when few subjects are too recondite to be of interest to the general public, it is only natural that popular magazines should take up striking discoveries and utilize them in a more or less sensational way. It is unfortunate, however, when such articles do not convey correct impressions or approximately correct impressions of facts. There is no limit to human belief, and a certain amount of appearance of scientific accuracy goes a long way in carrying on to acceptance grossly inaccurate statements. A correspondent in the Popular Science Monthly, a journal which popularizes science in a legitimate way, wrote to ask in regard to certain magazine articles by one Carl Snyder, as to whether they were reliable or not. These articles are of the class of which we speak, very attractively written, with vivid descriptions of alleged scientific truths. We say "alleged" because among

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