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April 23, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXX(17):991-992. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02440690051008

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Some two or three years ago an essayist in a popular review, under the title of "The Recrudescence of Superstition," tried to prove that with all our boasted progress, there was evidence that the world was going backward in at least one respect—that instead of becoming more emancipated from degrading superstitions mankind was getting to be more and more their slave, and adopting ideas and practices that better fitted the middle or the so-called dark ages than the present time. It was, as one might naturally suppose, a partial view and not a judicial statement of facts; the author focused his attention on certain facts that have existed from all time and ignored the real prevailing conditions about him. Men have always been more or less superstitious, and no amount of culture can entirely make them anything else, and in the uncultured the grossest beliefs have at all ages, not

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