A prediction (or forecast) is a statement about the way things will happen in the future.
- Hayek emphasized prediction in his work. It is important in theoretical work to make predictions about the future, because it is so easy to rationalize or justify the past. It is also important in scientific work to make predictions in numbers, because numbers are subject to verification. As Hayek emphasized, numerical predictions can be made in ranges.
- Alan Ebenstein, Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek (2003), Introduction
- Hayek embraced prediction as the criterion for scientific theories in “Degrees of Explanation.” This was, indeed, his definition of the hypothetico-deductive approach [...] Testable prediction was the core of Hayek’s conception of scientific methodology in the natural realm. He noted that “prediction and explanation are merely two aspects of the same process” and that for “the purposes of this article it would indeed make no important difference if instead of ‘degrees of explanation’ we spoke throughout of ‘degrees of prediction.’”
At the same time, as Hayek maintained elsewhere, the facts of the social sciences do not lend themselves to the same degree of prediction, or explanation, as the facts of the natural sciences—it is for this reason that there are degrees of prediction or explanation. Prediction may be expressed numerically, moreover, “not as a unique value or magnitude but as a range,” narrow in the natural sciences and potentially very broad in the social sciences. In the social sciences, Hayek modified the conception of a numerical range to a “range of phenomena to expect.” This was his concept of pattern prediction, or explanation of the principle, broad, general predictions.
- Alan Ebenstein, Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek (2003), Ch. 14. Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics
- ...if you make a great number of predictions, the ones that were wrong will soon be forgotten, and the ones that turn out to be true will make you famous.
- Malcolm Gladwell (2007-11-12). Dangerous Minds: Criminal profiling made easy.. The New Yorker. Retrieved on 2008-01-01.
- Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.
- Attributed to Niels Bohr in Teaching and Learning Elementary Social Studies (1970) by Arthur K. Ellis, p. 431
- The above quote is also attributed to various humourists and the Danish poet Piet Hein: "det er svært at spå - især om fremtiden"
- It is also attributed to Danish cartoonist Storm P (Robert Storm Petersen).
- The Danish source, used by Bohr and Petersen, has been traced back to Markus M. Ronner in 1918 by lundskovdk-citater.