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From: Carolyn Ybarra <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Genealogy Straw man - academic discipline
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2007 10:57:13 -0800

> From:

> Sharon wrote:
>> I lean towards making the G-word a scientific academic discipline, but
>> have also received inquiries about "art vs science", including whether
>> we are talking about an MA or an MS as a goal in post graduate
>> degrees.
> I understand your thinking and yet in my experience there is so much
> more to the academic study of family history than the science. Science
> is reductionist and by its nature tends to eliminate the humanistic.
> In science, if it is not duplicable in the lab it is

> The nature of family life, which includes religion, the natural
> world, economics, war, and migration to name a few overarching
> factors, means that a qualitative approach is as necessary as the
> quantitative.

I agree with Kathy, a degree in Genealogy should most logically be an
MA. It has the most in common with History, Sociology, and
Anthropology - it is more a social science than a hard science. In
social sciences you earn an Arts degree, not a Science degree. This is
true, for example, in anthropology even if you focus on archaeology or
physical/biological anthropology, which have much hard science in
methods and technique. Genealogy, even with DNA and so on, is
primarily a social science.

Once the course of study was laid out, this would be obvious to the
powers-that-be at any university, who would be the ones to decide this
in any case.

Besides, the white hood is so much more flattering than the
mustard-colored one...

p.s. sign me up to teach also...

Carolyn Ybarra, Ph.D
Family Research Services
1017 El Camino Real #332
Redwood City, CA 94063

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