GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2007-02 > 1171053517
From: Nathaniel Taylor <>
Subject: Re: Bulkley Ancestors in Normandy 1050-1150
Date: Fri, 09 Feb 2007 20:38:37 GMT
In article <>,
"taf" <> wrote:
> > Research demands creativity, not negative thinking.
> Not exactly. Research requires a ballance between creativity and
> critical thinking, such that time is not wasted on whimsical pursuits
> of fantastical solutions to simple problems with obvious ones.
You can flog me later, but I wouldn't say that research 'requires' this.
Genealogy is full of people willing to spend infinite man-hours on pet
theories, even if critical thinking would steer them away from a
likely-barren theory (e.g. if it flies in the face of methodological
consensus on some fundamental point). There's no rule that CW-defying
goose chases will never succeed: serendipity may be waiting for people
looking for the wrong things, or looking at things for the wrong reason.
A globe full of amateurs with wishful-thinking research agendas will
certainly yield *some* hits. Of course, more objective progress would
be made, in the aggregate, if all the wishful thinkers would learn
critical thinking and prioritize leads and approaches better. But those
who are immune to such improvement are welcome to keep on doing what
> Research also demands that one draw the conclusion from the data,
> rather than drawing the conclusion desired and then selectively
> interpreting the data according to how well it conforms to the desired