Tracer Hand requested that I post this:

“It is very curious to see how science, that is, looking at and arranging the facts of a case with our own eyes and our own intelligence, without minding what somebody else has said, or how some old majority vote went in a pack of intriguing ecclesiastics,-I say it is very curious to see how science is catching up with one superstition after another.

There is a recognized branch of science familiar to all those who know anything of the studies relating to life, under the name of Teratology. It deals with all sorts of monstrosities which are to be met with in living beings, and more especially in animals. It is found that what used to be called lusus naturœ, or freaks of nature, are just as much subject to laws as the naturally developed forms of living creatures…

Thinking people are not going to be scared out of explaining or at least trying to explain things by the shrieks of persons whose beliefs are disturbed thereby…”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Poet at the Breakfast Table,” J.M. Dent & Co., London. 1872.