A Statistician’s Lament

William M. Briggslaments the abuse of statistics in many of its applications. But I really think that he undermines his case when he attacks “classical statistics” itself rather than its abuse. Such abuse is definitely all too common in many fields but it is just not true that “*Every* analysis begins by assuming more than is warranted”(emphasis added). And on the other side of the argument the “superior” alternate (Bayesian/predictive) methods he advocates are just as susceptible to abuse as the old – perhaps more so as they are arguably harder to explain than the classical theory and so people are more inclined to take the word of an “expert” on faith rather than really understand the assumptions that it comes from.

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