10 August 2014
Here's a six-step plan for finding the 'core truth' in lore or tradition. It works. Every time.
1. Use the details of the tradition as clues.
2. Find the paper trail behind each clue.
3. Follow each paper trail to its earliest written form.
4. Weed out sources that simply parrot each other. (Just because something has been copied and recopied does not make it so!)
5. Weed out sources that are simply hearsay.
6. Work your way back to original sources with primary information—that is, sources created by individuals with firsthand knowledge of the situation.
Photo credits: "Natural Stone Steps," CanStockPhoto (http://www.canstockphoto.com : downloaded 4 August 2014), used under license.