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The hypotheses of historical natural science are typically concerned with long past, singular events and processes, e.g., what caused the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Evidence for such occurrences is acquired through field studies in the messy, uncontrollable world of nature. Because hypotheses about the remote past cannot be directly tested in the classical manner of experimental science, historical science is sometimes judged inferior. Building on earlier work, this essay explains the motivation for such arguments and why they are fundamentally mistaken. Traditional versions of the scientific method (inductivism and falsificationism) are based upon a deeply flawed, one-size-fits-all, logical analysis of the...

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