Proof

Having a Record That Says Something Doesn’t Prove It!

Every researcher has heard this advice: To prove a point, we need multiple sources: multiple sources, independently created. Not multiple sources that all copy each other. Decades ago, we were told that we needed "three sources that agree." In recent years, that "instruction" has been streamlined. Supposedly now, all we need are two. If that’s been your guidance, forget it ....

Documentation vs. DNA: The False Argument

“When documentation doesn’t exist, DNA tells us what’s what.” Or, at least, that’s the argument a genealogist posed in another forum. Where do we begin with this? For today, I’ll ignore the last five words of the quote and address the broader concept: Documentation always exists. Always. Even when we use DNA as “proof,” we still must have documentation ...

Conclusion or Confusion?

What, exactly, is a valid conclusion for students of history? Are hypotheses legitimate? Do our theories have to meet the scientific standard? Is it enough for a conclusion to be "more likely than not" (aka, a preponderance of the evidence) or believable beyond a shadow of a doubt, to borrow standards used by courts of law? ...
Reasonably Exhaustive Research: Quantity or Quality?
12 March 2015 To reach a sound conclusion about any historical event of person, our first criteria is reasonably exhaustive research. However, this does not mean that quantity assures accuracy. Quantity and quality are entirely different critters and quantity can never trump quality. For the history researcher who has no living firsthand witnesses to interview ...
EE Fri, 03/06/2015 - 17:07