Historical Science : For The Birds

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Historical Science: For the birds?

Lindsey Kaydo
History Guns, Germs, and Steel
December 16th, 2015

The scientific method is followed in pursuit of knowledge by more than the scientific community. Following the methods principles and procedures in a field of study in a well-documented manner can help qualify that field as scientific. The scientific method can be described as a systematic pursuit of knowledge. In Guns Germs and Steel, Jarod Diamond’s argument for historical science is admittedly weak, but credit is due to him for striving towards a more systematic approach to understanding human history. When a soft science for example, political science is compared to a hard science like chemistry, applying the scientific
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The scientific method will be my guide in assessing how strong of a case Diamond has for historical science and what is left to be desired. Relating the scientific method to history is great since neither ever really ends; observe, question, hypothesize, predict, experiment, gather data, refine hypothesis, and repeat.
Researching historical events tends to be problematic in that, what is available are artifacts that made it to the present day. Starting with only a percentage of historical evidence paints a fragmentary image of the record. Artifacts that are attainable may not truly reflect the way historical events actually happened, direct observations are impossible. Diamond does not bring much attention to this matter, it is important to take into consideration the source of information. The person making the first hand observations may have a reputation to uphold or an agenda to support that doctor the record significantly. Using pieces of evidence that may seem baffling at first look, a historian tries to determine the facts of historical events. However, Diamond does not criticize the first-hand accounts he cites and accepts the record as a non-skewed observation, this practice is not doing him and his proposed field any justice.
For question segment of the scientific method, the main question worthy of investigation in Diamond’s book
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