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February 2, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(5):399-401. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25220310023001h

Alcohol has been repeatedly charged with being the factor in degeneracy. Statistics of the first half of the present century seem to justify the conclusion that it is apparently the most potent factor, yet these statistics, as a rule, confound coincidence and cause, or effect and cause, or the vicious circles thereby resulting, to a remarkable degree. There are but few races in which alcohol has not been used and abused. The American Indians1 had tizwein, chica and pulque long ere Columbus; the Tartars and Russians have bouza, kvas and kumyss; the South Sea Islanders have ava and toddy (from the cocoanut); the Tunisians have laymi. The vast majority of the races of mankind have used alcoholic beverages. Each was called by a local name and not by a. loan word, a most demonstrable evidence of local origin.

Even the social insects (bees and ants) at times indulge in fruit

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