One of the more famous young Earth creationist escape hatches, to be used when there is no other way to dismiss evidence contrary to their position, is to invoke the spectre of “historical science”. Historical science is a legitimate term for observational, i.e. non-experimental science, which deals with things that cannot be directly tinkered with. Creationists, however, try to spin this as meaning that such science is less reliable or useful than experimental science, though this is far from the truth.
Brian’s latest use of the term, however, in What Will the Next Biological Breakthrough Be? is rather different. He comments on another freely available Nature feature, Life-changing experiments: The biological Higgs. This one asks “what fundamental discoveries in biology might inspire the same thrill [as the search for the Higgs]?