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THE PROPER STUDY OF MANKIND

JAMA. 1954;155(9):841. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690270037014.
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In a timely discussion of man as an investigator and as a subject in biological research, Ingle1 makes a careful analysis of certain human limitations. The fact that the human mind can accept erroneous concepts as truths is manifested by the wholeheartedness with which divergent political, social, and religious views are embraced. This failing is not restricted to the untutored but may be observed in scientists as well. The validity of a scientist's observations is further limited by the amount of data available to him and by the capacity of his mind to understand. Although the limits of the mind's ability to learn are not clearly defined, there can be no doubt that limits exist. The attention can be focused on only a narrow field at any given moment, and the more complex and multifaceted an idea is, the more difficult it is to grasp. Man has extended his

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