Student or Learner
The following sentences are taken from Bill Bryson's A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING. I'd like to know if we can use 'the thought' in place of 'the thinking' and what is the difference between these two nouns. (I tentatively understand 'thinking' as the process of 'think' and 'thought' as the 'outcome' of 'think' but I'm not sure.)
Many thanks in advance.
Once in a great while, a few times in history, a human mind produces an observation so
acute and unexpected that people can’t quite decide which is the more amazing—the fact or
the thinking of it.
By the 1960s scientists had grown sufficiently frustrated by how little they understood of
the Earth’s interior that they decided to try to do something about it. Specifically, they got the
idea to drill through the ocean floor (the continental crust was too thick) to the Moho
discontinuity and to extract a piece of the Earth’s mantle for examination at leisure. The
thinking was that if they could understand the nature of the rocks inside the Earth, they might
begin to understand how they interacted, and thus possibly be able to predict earthquakes and
other unwelcome events.