This question arose on another thread. My take is that history is a science, because historical claims can be falsifiable.
IOW if history is not a science, we should make it one.
For instance, if I said "President Abraham Lincoln was born in Idaho in 1936," that would be manifestly false, but pointing out that statement's falsity is not the same thing as falsifying it
There is empirical evidence that Lincoln lived in the 19th century. Using this evidence to prove false the claim that he was born in 1936 is equivalent to falsifying that claim.
But all studies don't add up to scientifically tested data > proof just because they consider a question and show a result.
I mean, he wrote an entire book about historicism and never uses the argument that history is not a science.
He uses the term 'social sciences' several time in that intro.
For instance, if I said "President Abraham Lincoln was born in Idaho in 1936," that would be manifestly false, but pointing out that statement's falsity is not the same thing as falsifying it, and it's certainly not the same thing as what scientists do when they set out to test another scientist's results.
You assume that he placed history under the category of social science.
At most, you would be verifying it (i.e. checking it for accuracy) rather than falsifying it (i.e. checking to see whether the claims hold up under scientific testing).
But you can go to the Library of Congress and find press coverage of Lincoln's first election, his first term as president, his re-election in 1864, his death in 1865, and the dedication of Lincoln Highway in 1913 --- all of which happened before 1936. To be sure, this evidence may not convince birther-type hecklers. But to reasonable people, it would constitute a refutation of the claim that "Lincoln was born in Idaho in 1936". The claim, then, is indeed refutable --- and refuted --- in the very sense that has become a standard test of "scientificness" since Karl Popper.
Yes. Based on the following and other quotes from the intro, and also from remembering the book, I do think Popper was by and large talking about history.
' I mean by 'historicism' an approach to the social sciences which assumes that historical prediction is their principal aim, and which assumes that this aim is attainable by discovering the “rhythms” or the “patterns”, the “laws” or the “trends” that underlie the evolution of history. '
--Karl Popper, The Poverty of Historicism, p. 3. (Emphasis as in the original)
As I remember my Logik der Forschung, Popper uses the term "verification" to mean "proving that a claim is true"and "falsification" to mean "proving that a claim is false". Checking the primary literature and discovering all the evidence that Lincoln lived and died well before 1937 proves that the claim is false.