The history of humankind cannot be charted as a steady linear upward slope but rather as a series of quantum jumps of short duration separated by plateaus of varying duration during which no progress occurred. During these periods of no progress, the revolutionaries who produced the preceding quantum jump pass from the scene, their principles and concepts become concretized as dogma, and a new establishment is born whose sacred duty is the protection of the dogma against the new revolutionaries. The last quantum jump was the scientific revolution of the nineteenth century which laid the groundwork for our present technological civilization, and perhaps more important, also shaped our philosophical view of what is a human being. Since the basis of this scientific revolution was reason, logic, measurement, and total reliance upon the organized senses, the resultant view of the person is that of an automaton, functioning in a clockwork world. The power of this view is evident in the advances made in medical science up until the 1950s. The twin triumphs of sanitation and preventive medicine and the develop̴_ ment of the antibiotic concept completely revolutionized the practice of medicine, and by 1950 those of us in the profession were anticipating a new golden age of medicine. But, in fact, the reality has been disaster. The mechanistic view of humanity has led to more and more technologi̴_ cal applications of ever increasing complexity and cost and ever de̴_ creasing efficiency.
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