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September 6, 1884


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1884;III(10):253-257. doi:10.1001/jama.1884.02390590001001

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[Read in the Section of Practice of Medicine and Materia Medica of the American Medical Association, May, 1884.]

The world moves in Cycles—the earth on her own axis, around the sun, her path about the sun recording the mighty cycles of the glacial eras. Periodicity marks all nature. Theories and fashions in art and science come and go, to go and come again. "The thing that hath been it is that which shall be." To this rule medicine forms no exception. Its theories come and go with such regularity, they are hardly worth combating. The next cycle will set them aside, but again and again they will return until we build upon absolute truth. It is useless to disturb them, except as they stand in the way of enduring progress.

The causes of disease are oft-times hidden, and we may fail to discern them, but we should avoid building upon

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