Sherlock Holmes always talks about the "Science of Deduction", which is the ability to deduce anything about people just from observation.

Does the "Science of Deduction" really exist, and does it really work all the time?

I mean can we jump to the right deductions by only observing?

  • There are just too many variables in real life at play so you can try and be good at it but the accuracy will always be less than 1 otherwise you would be no less than god. And scientifically there is no existence of god yet. Apr 26, 2019 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


YES. Very much. Because Sherlock Holmes is inspired from Dr. Joseph Bell.

To illustrate this, he would often pick a stranger, and by observing him, deduce his occupation and recent activities. These skills caused him to be considered a pioneer in forensic science, (forensic pathology in particular), at a time when science was not yet widely used in criminal investigations.

Dr Joseph Bell was a doctor and Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle was his student.

Doyle later went on to write a series of popular stories featuring the fictional character Sherlock Holmes, who Doyle stated was loosely based on Bell and his observant ways.

Does it really work all the time?

(IMHO) No, it depends on observer.

  • 2
    Agreed. How much educational background does the observer hold? Do they have enough knowledge of human biology to be able to spot intrinsic evidences on the observee's person (skin, eyes, blood, hair, etc.) and the ensuing medical facts to stand behind it? Do they have the technological knowledge to observe the technical behaviors/devices of the observee (smartphone, watch, med tech, etc.)? .....and so on. What intrinsic knowledge does the observer have, wherein they can deduce, based upon the factual data at their disposal,such information about an individual based upon observation? Apr 26, 2019 at 17:48

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