TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-10 > 1285949973
Subject: Re: [TGF] EE Discussion - Section 1.14 - Process Map forEvidenceAnalysis (Part 2)
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 12:19:33 -0400 (EDT)
Michele wrote, '"'f proof exists in the form of direct evidence--and we
conclude that this direct evidence is indeed the best evidence
possible--our reporting of the fact may require nothing more than simply
citing its source. More often, proof involves an assimilation of
indirect evidence or a resolution of contradictory evidence--situations
commonly referred to as building a case. In those circumstances, a
written proof argument is essential.'" [Citing Elizabeth Shown Mills,
Evidence Explained : Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace
(Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007), 26.].
And then Michele added questions. Number 3 is about one of my pet peeves:
"3. Under what circumstances do you think that a proof argument is
required over simply citing sources?"
Time after time I have seen writers misusing a genealogical-proof argument.
Instead of saying "Genie Author argues that John was son of Henry, based
on a recorded deed and two tax assessments," and going on to summarize the
argument and cite both the author's work and the documents cited, the
misguided writer thinks it is proper to say "John was son of Henry" and cite the
work of Genie Author. Thus the misguided writer circumvents the evidentiary
discussion and leaves us with a conclusion from an author who may not even
have been all that much convinced of it. Was there some contradictory evidence
taken into account in Genie Author's argument? We have no hint of such an
element in Misguided Writer's presentation.
At least there is a source given so we can take the time to consult Genie
Author's argument. But this sort of thing can be a construct upon which
genealogical houses of cards are built.
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