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Henri Poincaré, The evolution of laws (10)

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Henri PoincaréThus there is not a single law that we can state with the certainty that it has always been true in the past with the same approximation as today, I will say more, with the certainty that we will never be able to demonstrate that it was wrong once. And yet, there is nothing there that can prevent the scientist from keeping his faith to the principle of immutability, since no law can ever descend to the rank of a transitory law, than to be replaced by another more general law and more comprehensive; that it will not even have its disgrace until the advent of this new law, so that there will be no interregnum and that the principles will remain safe; that it will be through them that the changes will be made, and that these revolutions themselves will appear to be a striking confirmation of them.

It will not even happen that we will find variations by experience or by induction, and that we will explain them afterwards by trying to make everything fit into a more or less artificial synthesis. No, it will be the synthesis that will come first, and if we admit variations, it will be to not disturb it.

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