The Collier Encyclopedia’s definition for probability is the concern for events that are not certain and the reasonableness of one expectation over another. These expectations are usually based on some facts about past events or what is known as statistics.
Collier describes statistics to be the science of the classification and manipulation of data in order to draw inferences. Inferences here can be read to mean expectations, leading to the conclusion that the two go hand in hand in accomplishing what mankind has tried to accomplish since the beginning of time – predicting the future. It is the notion of science that this is the most accurate way to predict events yet to occur and this has lead to it being the most widely accepted “fortune telling'; tool in the world today.
Probability and Statistics most widespread use is in the arena of gambling. Gambling is big all over the world and lots of money is won and lost with their aid. In horse racing especially the statistics of a horse in terms of its physical condition and winning history sway numbers of persons into believing that the mathematical evidence that is derived can actually be a good indicator of a race’s outcome.
Usually it is if the odds or probability are great in favor of the desired outcome. However the future is uncertain and races can turn out any of a number of different ways. The field of medicine is another high subscriber to this forecasting technique.
Potential diagnoses are frequently made based on a patient’s history or that of his ancestors and the calculated likelihood of him/her acquiring certain conditions. Statistics and probability aid in the decision making process of which test may be required for a given symptom and how a possible outbreak may be detected and contained. Strategies for isolating and dealing with diseases are often made with the aid of statistics on the percentage of a population that may have been infected and the probability of its escalation.
The weather forecasters use probability and statistics just as much if not more than any other field on earth. As weather patterns are not fully understood and are dynamic, analysts have to rely heavily on past weather systems and patterns to “guess'; or estimate the possibility of present weather systems to behave in similar manners. If the probability of its behavior, subject to certain factors, in one manner over another is high forecasters make decisions as to how to advise the public.