This is my attempt to understand then distill and describe how the American legal system can be compared to the scientific method. While this may seem like an obvious notion (it certainly did to me) there is actually an entire field of legal study devoted to comparative law. Who knew? (clearly this Ernest Bruncken guy did, bet he feels Important.)
If you were brave enough to read the entire entry, while not being responsible for blogging about it, either you love the subject or deserve a medal. This is a big subject, but the title of the book from which the excerpt comes says a great deal “Science Of Legal Method“, by Ernest Bruncken.
Now for my brief observations. (It’s in outline formish, I promise)
1. Similar types of thinking are required for both.
a. Research is the best first step once the question is posed.
b. Analysis of the situation and *acceptance of the results should be dispassionate.
c. Post review can determine factors could have changed the outcome.
*Unless the results of (c) could change (b) which may lead to retrying.
d. The focus is on disproving the assumption.
e. Results can be overturned many years later as civilization changes.
2. The legal system does have some special features.
a. A much more narrow focus, which affects the way in which questions are posed and answered.
b. For every hypothesis there is an opposing one and both are constructed to convince a third party.
c. There is room for variation from typical rules and the final determination is, quite literally, opinion* and almost always has parts that can be argued against.
*It does still require supporting evidence.
d. There are a great variety of reasons that an actual test of the hypothesis may never occur.
At the end of the day, the important focus is for the law to use scientific thinking, even if the specific method does not work well for it. This is a lesson that can serve in many aspects of our lives.
Next time …
Maybe some fiction or ideas about hyperbole either could contain some silly literary references like this one did.
This time I’m keeping it a secret (even from myself)
*stage whisper* mysterious