This paper takes as its point of departure two striking incongruities between scientific practice and trends in modern history and philosophy of science. (1) Many modern historians of science are so preoccupied with local scientific practices that they fail to recognize important non-local elements. (2) Many modern philosophers of science make a sharp distinction between explanation and evidence, whereas in scientific practice explanatory power is routinely used as evidence for scientific claims. I draw attention to one specific way in

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