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February 25, 1893


JAMA. 1893;XX(8):204-207. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420350011001c

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When any great truth begins to receive public recognition it is always first welcomed by the credulous and visionary enthusiast, who surrounds it with the most extravagant expectations. This brings out the charlatan and empiric who studies to turn all such facts and conditions to his own personal profit. In this way the credulity of the one and the charlatanism of the other envelop the truth with a confusion and mystery that often conceal it for a long time. Only the student and the scientist realize that behind this glamor and illusion there is a uniform evolutionary movement along different lines from that suggested to the popular mind.

The growth of the truth is through separate periods and stages. The first stage is that of indifference, neglect, and denial. Then follows the credulous period, in which the truth is partially recognized and accepted, with extravagant conceptions, associated with wild empirical

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