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Forensic science

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MacGyverMagic
483176.  Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:03 pm Reply with quote

Wikipedia lists Archimedes and the Eureka myth as the first case of forensic science. The Greeks were inventive and all, but I'm surprised to see the Aztecs and the Egyptians never used science to solve crimes.

Is this another myth and if so, do you know of any earlier cases?

 
Flash
483194.  Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:44 pm Reply with quote

A genuinely interesting enquiry, MacGyverMagic, which I can only trivialise by saying that last night I saw an Irish stand-up act who did a routine about MacGyver in East London and was disappointed to find that no-one had any idea what she was on about as MacGyver has never been shown in the UK as far as anyone in Hackney knows.

 
MacGyverMagic
483327.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:56 am Reply with quote

I guess that means that the people who knew about MacGyver when I visited London were tourists then. I can't imagine this to be true, the stand-up act must've been out of luck with their audience, but it's an interesting idea. I'll check that further.

 
Ion Zone
483418.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:56 am Reply with quote

I've heard of it from Mythbusters, but never watched it.

 
misterchris
483490.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:57 am Reply with quote

I'm sure MacGyver used to be on ITV or BBC on Saturday evenings very briefly years ago.

Remember him getting through a room full of laser beams by throwing chalk dust in the air so he could see the beams.

Anyway, nothing to do with forensic science - sorry :)

 
misterchris
483494.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:00 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Some crimes considered serious would include stealing from another's crops, public drunkenness (except at a festival, or if you're over 70 years old), and murder.


Aztec Crime and Punishment

 
Davini994
483712.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:52 am Reply with quote

 
soup
484166.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:47 pm Reply with quote

 
mckeonj
484250.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:43 pm Reply with quote

MacGyver's devices were frighteningly authentic; in one episode he made a feasible thermite lance out of junk in a scrapyard, and zapped the bad guys' vehicle.

 
mckeonj
484255.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:52 pm Reply with quote

I think that the earliest example of forensic science in literature is in 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens, when the detective collects a paper wad, used to charge the pistol, at the murder scene, and matches it to a piecee of paper in the posession of the suspect.
Edgar Allen Poe has a detective who solves 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' by deductive reasoning, purely from the written evidence, and who does not visit the scene, nor examine physical evidence.

 
mckeonj
484258.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:56 pm Reply with quote

Regarding the 'empty toilet roll' problem; I was once faced with this problem in real life, and solved it by unwrapping the coarse paper strip that spirals round the core. A bit rough, but adequate.

 
MacGyverMagic
484382.  Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:41 am Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
I think that the earliest example of forensic science in literature is in 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens, when the detective collects a paper wad, used to charge the pistol, at the murder scene, and matches it to a piecee of paper in the posession of the suspect.
Edgar Allen Poe has a detective who solves 'The Mystery of Marie Roget' by deductive reasoning, purely from the written evidence, and who does not visit the scene, nor examine physical evidence.
So why do you think Archimedes doesn't count?

 
markvent
484461.  Tue Jan 20, 2009 5:01 am Reply with quote

. .


Last edited by markvent on Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
mckeonj
484526.  Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:43 am Reply with quote

Yes, I concur with the Archimedes instance, and withdraw the Dickens nomination.

 
MacGyverMagic
484938.  Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:56 pm Reply with quote

No clever Babylonians or Aztecs about then?

 

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