Friday, February 07, 2014

Ernst Mayr on the Historical Sciences and Their Methodologies

Ernst Mayr would agree with Stephen Jay Gould that Bill Nye was wrong to assert that there is no different methodology for the historical sciences.  Here is a comment he made on historical sciences in contrast to other branches of science:

For example, Darwin introduced historicity into science. Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science—the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.

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