What is “statistical method”? Is it the same as
“scientific method”? This paper answers the first question by
specifying the elements and procedures common to all statistical investigations
and organizing these into a single structure. This structure is illustrated by
careful examination of the first scientific study on the speed of light carried
out by A. A. Michelson in 1879. Our answer to the second question is negative.
To understand this a history on the speed of light up to the time of
Michelson’s study is presented. The larger history and the details of a
single study allow us to place the method of statistics within the larger
context of science.
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