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Maori and Polynesian: their origin, history and culture

The Methods adopted in the Book

page 268

The Methods adopted in the Book

(24) There still remain many interesting questions in connection with the peopling of Polynesia, including the problems of Easter Island and the relationships of Eastern Polynesia and the American coast. But they stand apart. The problems discussed have had special reference to Western Polynesia, and most of all to New Zealand, and their solution has been attempted with the one aim of eliciting the truth. The methods applied have been those of scientific research. The facts were classified, and hypothesis after hypothesis was tried till a good working hypothesis was found, that would explain them all. If a flaw become apparent in it through the discovery of other facts, that it did not cover, it was rejected or modified. It has happened frequently, however, that it helped to explain new facts and difficulties, and to solve unforeseen problems; and then it became practically a fact itself. If wider knowledge, combined with scientific method, can suggest truer working hypotheses, no one would be more ready to adopt them in place of his own than the writer of this book.