250 years of Bayes!

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The Reverend Thomas Bayes died 250 years ago this month, in 1761. His famous “Essay Towards Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances”, from which stems “Bayes’ Rule”, was published posthumously 247 years ago in 1764 by the Royal Society. A detailed review of the argument in modern notation is Edwards (1978) in the Scandanavian Journal of Statistics. Any of us scientists working today would be beyond lucky to have our work cited 250 later!

The R Revolutions blog highlights the anniversary and is posting videos explaining the significance of Bayesian thinking. Check it out!

22 Comments

Bayesian stats. Gotta love ‘em!

“Any of us scientists working today would be beyond lucky to have our work cited 250 later!”

Beyond is right! Having your paper cited 250 years later has nothing to do with luck; it has to do with nailing down something that’s truly important.

He is buried in Bunhill Fields (Wikipedia: Bunhill Fields). His grave is marked on the map.

rossum

250 years of Bayes, and most people still don’t know their prior from their posterior.

He is buried in Bunhill Fields (Wikipedia: Bunhill Fields). His grave is marked on the map.

Just around the corner from the Royal Statistical Society.

Here is a good introductory explanation of Bayes’ Theorem

Ironically, the Reverend Bayes is the bane of intelligent design theorists. Dembski gave an entire chapter of one of his books to discrediting Bayesian hypothesis testing.

Hmm. I haven’t read any of Demski’s books, having read a few of his articles leaves me with no inclination to voluntarily suffer such abuse, but I would guess Dembski’s complaint was broadly the “materialistic science” angle.

After all, it wouldn’t be all that applicable to “nonmaterialistic science”, would it?

Dembski’s works suffer from the problem of grossly simplified mathematics, inappropriately applied, and explained with remarkably turgid, clunky prose.

He is a very poor writer.

mrg said:

Hmm. I haven’t read any of Demski’s books, having read a few of his articles leaves me with no inclination to voluntarily suffer such abuse, but I would guess Dembski’s complaint was broadly the “materialistic science” angle.

After all, it wouldn’t be all that applicable to “nonmaterialistic science”, would it?

Malchus said: He is a very poor writer.

On reading some of Dembski’s articles my conclusion was: “I wish you were talking to me on the phone, so I could at least have the pleasure of hanging up on you.”

Malchus said:

Dembski’s works suffer from the problem of grossly simplified mathematics, inappropriately applied, and explained with remarkably turgid, clunky prose.

He is a very poor writer.

mrg said:

Hmm. I haven’t read any of Demski’s books, having read a few of his articles leaves me with no inclination to voluntarily suffer such abuse, but I would guess Dembski’s complaint was broadly the “materialistic science” angle.

After all, it wouldn’t be all that applicable to “nonmaterialistic science”, would it?

Michael Behe has superior prose, in a very homey sort of way (at least that’s the impression I got from Darwin’s Black Box). However, he never gets to the point he claimed he was making (i.e., defining what irreducible complexity really is/was beyond being too complicated for him to understand), either, sadly.

It is apparently frequently the case that the names of theorems are attributed to mathematicians who didn’t actually do the real work on the theorem while the person who actually derived the theorem doesn’t get his/her name attached to the work.

Let A = the statement that the attributions for theorems frequently do not reflect who actually did the work.

Let B = the statement that Bayes Theorem is due to Bayes.

Then what is P(B|A)?

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on April 19, 2011 10:16 PM.

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