Some myths concerning statistical hypothesis testing

B Traven bbmeme at
Thu Nov 21 03:28:06 EST 2002

Does anyone have a citation (or better yet, link), to an overview of
the various schools of thought on probability, statistics, and
inference? Something that describes how, where, and why schools of
thought differ.

- Bb

robert_dodier at (Robert Dodier) wrote in message 
> Just to clarify the grounds of the debate, the questions of interest
> are not mathematical in nature -- so far as I know all parties agree
> on the theorems of probability, measure theory, etc. and nobody claims
> that their opponents have a false derivation or some error like that.
> The debate is best characterized as a scientific in nature -- 
> specifically, there is disagreement as to what the A, B, C, and 
> X, Y, Z in the equations can stand for. It is something like a
> physicist exhibiting an equation for balance of phlogiston -- 
> even if the equation itself is OK, some people will object to
> interpreting the quantity P as a massless fluid that transfers energy.
> Specifically, in the case of statistics, one group claims that it is
> meaningful to assess probability for any proposition, be it concerning
> random variables or otherwise. Another influential group claims that
> is incorrect, and some mode of reasoning other than probability is
> required for any proposition not concerning random variables. This 
> disagreement as to the scope of probability has lead to vastly 
> different methodologies, and never the twain shall meet, AFAICT.
> Statistics courses for non-majors are almost entirely taught by
> the "probability for random variables only" party; this is a 
> historical and sociological phenomenon. OTOH, I am aware that the
> other persuasion is popular in many computer science departments,
> specifically as it makes automated reasoning much easier to formulate.
> For what it's worth,
> Robert Dodier

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