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The Application of Statistical Methods to Problems of Standardization

Volume 7, Number 1 (Feb. 1953) Page 5-11

Geffner, Joseph


Those unfamiliar with statistical methods tend to over-estimate their usefulness. To this group let it be pointed out that (1) statistics alone cannot take the place of rational physical theory in developing a good analytical method; (2) statistics alone cannot take the place of careful procedure and manipulations in carrying through a method; and (3) statistics alone cannot improve the results obtained by a particular method regardless of how poor the results may be. Thus, statistics is by no means a magic wand which permits the chosen few who possess it to use any sample preparation, any excitation, any spectrograph, any development procedure, any densitometer, any spectrum lines, in fact, any old method at all, yet always get the right answer by squaring a few numbers and dividing by something or other.