Thursday 6 December 2018

Everything is unparalleled.

Historical sciences, including geology and evolution,  cannot avoid historical methods, they need to weave together observations into narratives, often they use qualitative observations, they are speculative, and fundamentally they deal with non-reproducible observations. In other words, they need to create historical explanations, not laws that are invariant in time. The French brothers Edmond de Goncourt (1822–96) and Jules de Goncourt (1830–70) expressed this well – on April 15th 1867 they noted that: 
Everything is unique, nothing happens more than once in a lifetime… Nothing is repeated, and everything is unparalleled.