References in classic literature ?
There was talk of all countries putting bounties on children to increase the birth rate, but it was laughed to scorn by the arithmeticians, who pointed out that China was too far in the lead in that direction.
If so, that prophet was no doubt laughed to scorn for such an illogical extension of the slippery-slope argument.
The fact is that if in 1900, 1917, or 1942 it had been predicted that Israel would emerge as a first-world regional power, the idea would have been laughed to scorn.

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