Thursday, November 10, 2005

Another Example of Assuming Psychological Causes

Another example of the tendancy to assume environmental or, more commonly, psychological causes, for misfortunes, in this case, illnesses. This one is from a review of Walter Gratze's The Curious History of Nutrition:

Though Gratzer appears more interested in anecdotes than in theory, you can't read this book without spotting a theme: We blame psychology and environment for everything, until science comes up with the real cause. Scurvy, blight of the 18th-century sailor, was attributed to low morale, bad air, and all kinds of other folderol, until it was finally proved to be a vitamin C deficiency.

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