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Sherlock Holmes Blog

Sherlock Holmes Blog – Based on the article you chose to read, and the Sherlock Holmes story that you read use this blog to reflect on what you have realized and learned about scientific methods of detection and investigation from these readings.

This blog represents our Standard 2 because it examines past and current research in forensics.  I read about an old case that was solved using old and new methods.

From the Sherlock Holmes story that I read, “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box,” and the review “Why You Should Envy, But Not Worship Sherlock Holmes,” (I have posted the links to both of these below) I have learned types of thinking and observed them as Sherlock put them in action.  Kyle Hill writes in his review about heuristic judgement.  From this review, I have learned that this type of judgement is made very quickly by manipulating background knowledge and cues given.  Hill gives the example of a green smelly meat.  You do not have to test it for bacteria, you already know that it has gone bad and that you should throw it away.  Sherlock used this type of judgement in the story.  When a cardboard box arrives at Susan Cushing’s house containing two severed human ears, Holmes is brought in to investigate.  He makes quick assumptions about the suspect based on the information he sees.  He can tell that the suspect has sailing experience based on the way that the knot in the string is tied.  He also concludes that the suspect does not have medical training based on the way that the ears were cut, and how the suspect used plain salt to preserve the body parts.  These heuristic judgements did not need any testing, Holmes recognized the signs of a sailor’s knot, and had previous knowledge of medical practices.  Therefore, he was able to make scientific guesses about the suspect, just like Hill described in his article.  I think that this type of learning is used a lot in Sherlock Holmes stories, and it was an important piece of evidence for Hill to include in his review.  I think that heuristic judgements make up a substantial amount of observations in the field of forensic science.  The first thing that anyone does when they see something new, is make a judgement about it.  This judgement can be as simple as using background information to know what a certain object, and if it is dangerous or safe.  Heuristic judgements are used all of the time, not just in studying crime scenes, therefore, they are a tool that everyone uses, and an essential one.  After reading Hill’s review, I realized how often I use heuristic judgements in my life, and how much they help me to identify things as safe or dangerous.  Based on my readings of the Sherlock Holmes story, and the review, I noticed that it’s easier to think like Holmes than I previously thought, and everyone does it everyday.  Personally, I found it interesting how everyone makes observations everyday that they are unaware of.  Even just knowing that when a stove is on it is hot is amazing to me.  Everyone is being a detective everyday.Observations can be puzzles, but they can also be simple.  Sherlock Holmes deals with both types, and so do we.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/but-not-simpler/2014/01/07/why-you-should-envy-but-not-worship-sherlock-holmes/ (review)

https://www.mysterynet.com/holmes/14cardboardbox/ (Sherlock Holmes story)

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