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May 14, 1892


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1892;XVIII(20):605-608. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411240005001a

Ever since Bacon and Descartes overthrew the deductive method of scientific investigation founded by Aristotle and practiced by the mediæval schoolmen, a. more rigid exactness has been demanded by mankind in the statement of scientific facts. "Give us facts and away with theories" is the modern battlecry of practical science. A mathematical precision only is worthy of its dignity. Mathematics itself and chemistry and astronomy are upheld as the models, and all knowledge that falls short of their exactness is looked upon with a gentle suspicion, and perhaps a sympathetic pity. Civil and mechanical engineering, architecture, steam manufacturing, and all the other arts and sciences based upon geometrical principles have taught us to be so rigid in our demands that we have very little patience left for what cannot be demonstrated by the rule of three or solved by the theorems of Euclid. We want so much to know the

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