Human cycles: History as science Advocates of ‘cliodynamics’ say that they can use scientific methods to illuminate the past. But historians are not so sure.

“What is new about cliodynamics isn’t the search for patterns, Turchin explains. Historians have done valuable work correlating phenomena such as political instability with political, economic and demographic variables. What is different is the scale — Turchin and his colleagues are systematically collecting historical data that span centuries or even millennia — and the mathematical analysis of how the variables interact.”

http://www.nature.com/news/human-cycles-history-as-science-1.11078

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