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Cause and Effect

By nailah94 Dec 07, 2012 768 Words
Sherlock Holmes Influencing Modern Science

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Sherlock Holmes was a fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes was a London detective who was famous for his master disguises and his intellectual ability to solve difficult crime cases. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle gave Sherlock Holmes many different ways to solve crimes such as fingerprinting, ballistics and handwriting analysis in order to determine the identity of the suspect. In the early 1900’s, solving a crime was mainly based off of superstition and usually an educated guess. The different methods that Sherlock Holmes used were of course fictional and a fantasy back then. The different types of fantasy methods influenced what we call today Forensic Science. Forensic Science is where the science and law community is used in order to answer questions to criminal as well as civil cases.

In Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle demonstrated the technique of trace of evidence. The technique of evidence helped Edmond Lochard come up with a principle called “Lochards Exchange Principle.” This principle stated “with contact between two items, there will be an exchange”. The principle basically means that every thing on a crime scene is consider evidence. There could be one little tiny hair fiber that could be the main key to solving the whole crime. In his books, Sherlock Holmes would use different tools such as the magnifying glass and the optical microscope in order to look closely and find hair fibers and tobacco evidence and other things that would be a proof of evidence to the case. He was always close examining everything. Today, the FBI uses different technologies to help them look closely at different types of evidence. For an example, Forensic Vacuums that sucks smaller particles onto a paper so it can be analyzed.

Sherlock Holmes always had his own little personal laboratory where he paid most attention to the little details using different chemicals. He was able to us ballistics in order to recover bullets that were spent and also the suspect’s caliber measurement and whether it matched the suspect’s murder weapon. Today, FBI and CSI have crime laboratories where they experiment and examine blood stains and DNA. Most Detectives used chemicals like Luminol which reveals drops of blood when sprayed in a dark room.

Sherlock Holmes even examines the clothes of the victim in order to find unusual fibers or hairs, or any kind of DNA on the Victim. He would use this evidence in order to figure who the victim was with and if the victim had any scars or tattoos in order to discover their past life. When a detective discovers the victim’s past life they could narrow down the suspects to who the victim had problems with. Also, to find possible witnesses who was at the scene when it happened. He would take all this information in order to figure out the main reason or motto for why the victim was killed.

Last but not least, one of the most important pieces of evidence that Sherlock Holmes always made sure he had was pictures. He took different pictures at the crime scene in order to examine the different positions and parts of the crime scene in order to find any other kind of evidence. Also, he used photography in order to take pictures of the criminals for any witnesses who wanted to prove that this person was the suspect, Today in the crime solving world, pictures are a must have when you go on the scene. The Pictures of the victims and the different physical and visible evidence in the room was always photographed. When the detectives go back to the lab, they can actually examine the pictures over and over again to make there is no other piece of evidence to help them with the case.

The English detective, Sherlock Holmes, is a big inspiration to Forensic Science today. If it was not for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle creating the character of Sherlock Holmes, detective would still be solving crimes just by educated guess based on little evidence and a lot of innocent people would be in jail. There would not have been the thought of DNA and looking more closely to different types of fibers. Sherlock Holmes is an inspiration with Scientist, helping them to come up with more ideas to solve crimes easier and faster and more carefully in order to find the “Bad Guy”.

Bibliography
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes#Influence
http://www.ctcase.org/bulletin/19_2/forensics.html
http://library.thinkquest.org/04oct/00206/index1.htm
http://science.howstuffworks.com/locards-exchange-principle.htm/printable

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