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From the book with the same title by E.O. Wilson, (1999):
"William Whewell, in his 1840 synthesis 'The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences', was the first to speak of consilience, literally a 'jumping together' of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation." He said, 'The Consilience of Inductions takes place when an Induction, obtained from one class of facts, coincides with an induction, obtained from another different class. This consilience is a test of the truth of the Theory in which it occurs."