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April 18, 1925


JAMA. 1925;84(16):1184. doi:10.1001/jama.1925.02660420022011

In the days, nearly a century ago, when the once widely quoted "Bridgewater Treatises" were being prepared for publication, much emphasis was placed on the perfections of the human body. The ascendency of man was attributed not only to his superior intellect, but also to the excellence of the mechanical adjustments and the chemical processes, which in most cases surpassed human comprehension. It was a scientist no less eminent than William Prout, discoverer of the acid of the gastric juice, who called attention to "all the beautiful adjustments and adaptations of noxious and conflicting elements most wonderfully conspiring together for good," as evidences of design in nature. In the course of time, however, the development of our knowledge of both the physical and the natural sciences has revealed such a wealth of surprising phenomena in almost every field of scientific research as to make most of the "wonders of the

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