Frequentist-Bayesian “debate” NYTimes article

Here’s an article from a few weeks ago about frequentist and Bayesian techniques in the New York Times. Have a read and let us know what you think in the comments.

This blog, Simply Statistics, has quite a few good things to say about it, like how the evil frequentists weren’t able to save a lost-at-sea fisherman, but Bayesians were.  And also this comic:


What do you think?


About Pat Cain

I like discovering things that are non-random. As a biologist, I suppose that's my main job: to find and describe occurrences of non-randomness.
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One Response to Frequentist-Bayesian “debate” NYTimes article

  1. Divya says:

    Okay. First of all, excellent NYT article. Unlike the blindly accusing first few lines in that Simply Statistics blog post, and unfortunately the line you picked to quote, the NYT article did not at all in any way say evil frequentists were not able to save the fisherman blah blah.. I thought the NYT article was pretty well-balanced and did not “resort to the (typical) sensationalist narrative”. The Simply Statistics blog post becomes better though and he makes the important point that the whole thing is quite pointless and a good statistician would be open, think critically and choose wisely.

    My favourite quote from the NYT article is Uri Simonsohn’s; “if people misused or misunderstood one system, they would do just as badly with the other. Bayesian statistics, in short, can’t save us from bad science.”


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