The basis of our scientific reasoning rests on classical physics taught in school and taught to engineers also during their studies. In classical physics it is assumed that processes occur in a determinate manner, ie. given data concerning the initial state, the final state can be calculated unambiguously. However, sooner or later every scientist is forced to recognize that many processes are not fully determinable. It does not actually matter whether this indeterminacy is founded in nature, as eg. in quantum physics or whether the causes are indeterminable in practice, such as the fluctuations in measurements in experiments and in sampling. As the number of individual results increases to a certain level, it is not too difficult to recognize that even these indeterminable processes have regularities which, though not valid for the individual result, hold for the total collection as such. However, suitable observational material has to be used. This process, called descriptive statistics, was for a long time the main content of statistics. The object is to collect observational material, organize it, and represent it graphically or using formulae. This type of statistics still finds expression nowadays in the population and economic statistics published in the form of year books.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.