A family tree branches and branches and branches…. It is endless in that we have not yet found the beginning. Going back through the generations, it does not take long to find that you are related to millions of people. Going back further, with research and DNA evidence, we find billions of people on our family trees.
An article or a book is only as good as the research that supports the conclusions drawn by the author. Going back through the bibliography, and then tracing back through the generations of bibliographies that have direct descent through the research, it does not take long to find that there may be (in many cases) tens of thousands of published writings that are, in fact, related to a single published writing.
There can be many citations for a single article or book. This outwards branching of the bibliography does not trace a direct line of descent but rather widens the tree and records more ways in which a single piece of research has been used. Going back through the research, we may never know the exact beginnings as our beginnings were not written down and we are only just starting to sort out some of the puzzle pieces that have been left to us by our ancestors.
Personally, I think that every article and book ever published, is important. Many of them do not require close reading, many of them I disagree with, all require our acknowledgement. Evidence is important. The questions we ask about our world is what drives science. In questioning something, in looking for answers and we may not always find the correct answer the first time round. If we keep asking though, there is a good chance that we will find understanding.
I have decided that future posts will contain selected bibliographies of the works that I include. I will work on making the posts a little shorter and to do this, I have an idea. Mini posts! To do this I am going to see what happens if I begin the comments section of new posts with a bibliographic selection from the articles that are included in the main post.
New comments will appear at the top of the comments section. You will be able to add to all of the comments in the list. I am hoping that this will encourage discussion of the research that has been collected by each of the authors that I have read and posted about.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts….