Historical science and avoiding logical fallacies
In 1970, the historian David Hackett Fischer wrote a noteworthy book entitled Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought.
An excellent review of Fischer's book declared:
In only approximately 300 pages, Fischer surveys an immense amount of background historical literature to point out a comprehensive variety of analytical errors that many, if not most, historians commit. Fischer points out specific examples of faulty or sloppy reasoning in the work of even the most prominent historians, making it a useful book for beginning students of history. While this book presumably did not make Fischer popular with many of his peers, it should be noted that his contributions as a historian have not been limited simply to criticizing the work of others; since 1976, he has published a number of well-received books on other historical topics.In his book Historians’ Fallacies: Toward a Logic of Historical Thought, David Hackett Fischer presents 7 rules of thumb for historians that will help you when examining the historical evidence relating to origins science.
Fischer's 7 rules of thumb for historians:
1. The burden of proof for a historical claim is always upon the one making the assertion.
2. Historical evidence must be an answer to the question asked and not to any other question.
3. An historian must not merely provide good evidence, but the best evidence. And the best evidence, all other things being equal, is the evidence which is most nearly immediate to the event itself.
4. Evidence must always be affirmative. Negative evidence is no evidence at all. (In other words,absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence)
5. The meaning of any historical evidence is dependent upon the context from which it is obtained from.
6. An empirical statement must not be more precise than its evidence warrants.
7. All inferences from historical evidence are probabilistic.
(source: Josh McDowell's Evidence that Demands a Verdict, page 674, 1999, Mark MCGarry, Texas Type and Book Works, Dallas, TX, ISBN 0-7852-4219-8)