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January 20, 1906


JAMA. 1906;XLVI(3):198-199. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.02510300032008

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Two articles have recently appeared which may seem to indicate how the extremes of the pendulum too often characterize scientific presentations. The subject in this particular instance is the part played by the house fly in the causation of tuberculosis. One writer3 attributed to this source so large a proportion of cases of tuberculosis that on sober reflection one must surely regard his views as exaggerated. The other writer4 rather vehemently declared that the house fly is almost never an etiologic factor in this disease.

The judicious have here especial reason to grieve, for the propaganda against tuberculosis now being carried on is one which will certainly redound enormously to the well-being and the happiness of mankind if it be based on temperate, just and scientific deductions from accurately observed facts. We emphasize this "if"; for otherwise unreasonable and far-fetched statements, such as must seem absurd to the

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