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If probable events do not occur sooner or later, this amounts to evidence for the interference of some systematic factor. ) A range of observations may be amenable either to classical or to statistical understanding; which is appropriate cannot be settled a priori, but only by trial and error. 2 Canons of Scientific Inquiry To explore further the nature of insight as exemplified in the physical sciences, it is necessary to pay some attention to the canons which guide their methods of discovery.
Thus the kind and manner of prediction involved differ from one another. Classical predictions can be exact within assignable limits; but statistical predictions cannot be so, just because relative actual frequencies differ at random from probabilities. If probable events do not occur sooner or later, this amounts to evidence for the interference of some systematic factor. ) A range of observations may be amenable either to classical or to statistical understanding; which is appropriate cannot be settled a priori, but only by trial and error.
As well as providing a basis for the concept of change, the notion of a thing is necessary for the continuity of scientific thought, since science moves from mere description to explanation, and something must remain identical throughout the process from the one to the other. The thing or things which are first merely described are later fully explained. 33 Indeed, 'the thing is the basic synthetic construct of scientific thought and development'- The ancient list of elements, earth, air, fire and water has been rejected, and the new list provided in the periodic table of the elements has been set up by hypothesis and verification; but both old and new lists are lists of kinds of things.