The science of what-if

abraham_lincoln.gifInvestigator Jennifer Grant alerts us to a potentially new branch of scientific inquiry: what-if research. A May 18, 2007 Associated Press report gives details:

Abraham Lincoln might have survived being shot if today’s medical technology had existed in 1865.

Given that scenario, the question is whether Lincoln, the president who led the United States during the Civil War, would have recovered well enough to return to office, a doctor and a historian said Friday…

If Lincoln had survived and “could reason and somehow get his thoughts across, the United States certainly would have been a better and more just nation, especially on matters of race, and in a far quicker fashion,” [historian Steven Lee] Carson said.

Carson’s official biography says he is “current or past President of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, a member of the Board of Trustees of the United States Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Abraham Lincoln Institute, the Lincoln Forum and the Lincoln Group of Illinois.”