“The subjective Bayesian theory as developed, for example, by Savage … cannot solve the deceptively simple but actually intractable old evidence problem, whence as a foundation for a logic of confirmation at any rate, it must be accounted a failure.” (Howson, (2017), p. 674)
What? Did the “old evidence” problem cause Colin Howson to recently abdicate his decades long position as a leading subjective Bayesian? It seems to have. I was so surprised to come across this in a recent perusal of Philosophy of Science that I wrote to him to check if it is really true. (It is.) I thought perhaps it was a different Colin Howson, or the son of the one who co-wrote 3 editions of Howson and Urbach: Scientific Reasoning: The Bayesian Approach espousing hard-line subjectivism since 1989. I am not sure which of the several paradigms of non-subjective or default Bayesianism Howson endorses (he’d argued for years, convincingly, against any one of them), nor how he handles various criticisms (Kass and Wasserman 1996), I put that aside. Nor have I worked through his, rather complex, paper to the extent necessary, yet. What about the “old evidence” problem, made famous by Clark Glymour 1980? What is it? Continue reading
Erich Lehmann 20 November 1917 – 12 September 2009
Erich Lehmann was born 100 years ago today! (20 November 1917 – 12 September 2009). Lehmann was Neyman’s first student at Berkeley (Ph.D 1942), and his framing of Neyman-Pearson (NP) methods has had an enormous influence on the way we typically view them.*
I got to know Erich in 1997, shortly after publication of EGEK (1996). One day, I received a bulging, six-page, handwritten letter from him in tiny, extremely neat scrawl (and many more after that). He began by telling me that he was sitting in a very large room at an ASA (American Statistical Association) meeting where they were shutting down the conference book display (or maybe they were setting it up), and on a very long, wood table sat just one book, all alone, shiny red.
He said ” I wonder if it might be of interest to me!” So he walked up to it…. It turned out to be my Error and the Growth of Experimental Knowledge (1996, Chicago), which he reviewed soon after. (What are the chances?) Some related posts on Lehmann’s letter are here and here.
3 years ago…
MONTHLY MEMORY LANE: 3 years ago: November 2014. I mark in red 3-4 posts from each month that seem most apt for general background on key issues in this blog, excluding those reblogged recently, and in green 3- 4 others of general relevance to philosophy of statistics (in months where I’ve blogged a lot). Posts that are part of a “unit” or a group count as one (11/1/14 & 11/09/14 and 11/15/14 & 11/25/14 are grouped). The comments are worth checking out.
- 11/01 Philosophy of Science Assoc. (PSA) symposium on Philosophy of Statistics in the Higgs Experiments “How Many Sigmas to Discovery?”
- 11/09 “Statistical Flukes, the Higgs Discovery, and 5 Sigma” at the PSA
- 11/11 The Amazing Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge
- 11/12 A biased report of the probability of a statistical fluke: Is it cheating?
- 11/15 Why the Law of Likelihood is bankrupt–as an account of evidence
- 11/18 Lucien Le Cam: “The Bayesians Hold the Magic”
- 11/20 Erich Lehmann: Statistician and Poet
- 11/22 Msc Kvetch: “You are a Medical Statistic”, or “How Medical Care Is Being Corrupted”
- 11/25 How likelihoodists exaggerate evidence from statistical tests
- 11/30 3 YEARS AGO: MONTHLY (Nov.) MEMORY LANE
 Monthly memory lanes began at the blog’s 3-year anniversary in Sept, 2014.
 New Rule, July 30,2016, March 30,2017 -a very convenient way to allow data-dependent choices (note why it’s legit in selecting blog posts, on severity grounds).
However, it’s mandatory to adjust for selection effects, and Benjamini is one of the leaders in developing ways to carry out the adjustments. Even calling out the avenues for cherry-picking and multiple testing, long known to invalidate p-values, would make replication research more effective (and less open to criticism). Continue reading