Similar Messages Essay

615 words - 3 pages

Forensic science has been an integral part of the development of crime narratives for both fact and fiction. Whereas Sydney Alfred Smith discusses the advancement of forensic science and deductive reasoning in relation to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Zakaria discusses the development of forensic science (specifically entomology) in relation to his career in crime-scene investigation. Both articles discuss the development and advancement of forensic science and deductive reasoning as well as highlight some of the similarities and difficulties each author recognizes as having affected this development.
Whether the use of forensic science and deductive reasoning be for reality or fiction, the reliance on more than one type of evidence-gathering method is crucial. In Smith’s article, he states that “observation and deduction alone are not enough, but must be supported by a wide range of exact knowledge.” (Smith 34) Zakaria similarly states that “there is no one, simple formula by which we can turn ordinary facts into the golden truth that we are seeking.” (Zakaria 22) Sherlock Holmes relied upon a series of methods, a combination of three qualities to determine outcomes (Smith 30), and Zakaria relied upon multiple factors such as body temperature, room temperature, and observed insects to determine time of death (Zakaria 29). These examples illustrate the importance of multiple avenues in which information is collected.
The reliance on multiple avenues illustrates one of the challenges that forensic science faced during its development. Both the reliability and credibility of, for example, chemistry in forensic science (portrayed by the Holmes examples) and entomology (portrayed in the memoir of Zakaria) were challenged and faced difficulties. For example, Smith mentions throughout several pages that in many of the stories of Sherlock Holmes, the influence of chemical experiments and research are touched upon but are never used as a means...

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