The promise of scientific history and scientifically informed history is more modest today than it was in the nineteenth century, when a number of intellectuals hoped to transform history into a scientific mode of inquiry that would unite the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and reveal profound truths about human nature and destiny. But Edmund Russell in Evolutionary History and Jared Diamond and James A. Robinson in Natural Experiments of History demonstrate that historians can write interdisciplinary, comparative analyses using the strategies of nonexperimental natural science to search for deep patterns in human behavior and for correlates to those patterns that can lead to a better, though not infallible, understanding of historical causality.

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