Preface for “Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma” by Waldbott, Burgstahler, and McKinney 1978

AS EVERY past generation has had to disenthrall itself from an inheritance of truisms and stereotypes, so in our time we must move on from reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult, but essential confrontation with reality.

For the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.  Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears.  We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations.  We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

President John F. Kennedy

Commencement Address, Yale University

June 11, 1962