1 Oscar Sheynin History of Statistics Berlin, 2012 ISBN 978-3 ...

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1 Oscar Sheynin History of Statistics Berlin, 2012 ISBN 978-3 ...

ut I have lived to see many of them tacitly adopting the very processes theybegan by condemning.It was difficult to correlate Mendelism and biometry: the former studieddiscrete magnitudes while the latter investigated continuous quantitativevariations. Later developments threw a different light on this subject(Johannsen 1922).I (2010) collected pronouncements of celebrated scientists about Pearson,both positive (Kolmogorov, Bernstein, Mahalanobis, Newcomb) andnegative (Fisher). Here, I only quote two authors.Fisher (1937, p. 306) objected to Pearson’s view of maximum likelihood,stating that hisPlea of comparability [between the methods of moments and maximumlikelihood] is […] only an excuse for falsifying the comparison […].Hald (1998, p. 651) offered a reasonable general description of one aspectof the Biometric school:Between 1892 and 1911 he [Pearson] created his own kingdom ofmathematical statistics and biometry in which he reigned supremely,defending its ever expanding frontiers against attacks.Of special interest is the testimony of Camp (1933) who worked underPearson at the Galton laboratory. Although patently prettifying Pearson, heput forward facts and impressions hardly available elsewhere.It is also necessary to mention W. S. Gosset (pen-name Student). Not amember of the Biometric school, he was one of the pioneers in thedevelopment of modern statistical method and its application to the designand analysis of experiments (Irwin 1978, p. 409). Specifically, best known ishis work on treating small samples and the t-test. Fisher aptly called him theFaraday of statistics (Ibidem, p. 410) since, in a sense, his intuitive feelingwas better than his mathematics. It was perhaps this circumstance that KarlPearson had in mind when, in a letter of ca. 1914 to Chuprov’s follower,Anderson, he called Student kein Fachmann (Sheynin 1990a/2011, p. 153).E. S. Pearson & Wishart (1943) published Student’s collected papers andE. S. Pearson (1990) is a most informative source about Student and hiscontemporaries. It does not, however, include the bibliography of his worksnor contain a concise description of his findings.14.3. The Merging of the Two Streams?I (§ 14.1-4) noted that the Continental statisticians were not recognizingPearson. Many of his colleagues, Chuprov wrote, like Markov, shelve theEnglish investigations without reading them. The cause of that attitude wasthe empiricism of the Biometric school (Chuprov 1918 – 1919, t. 2, pp. 132– 133):The reluctance, characteristic of English researchers, to deal with thenotions of probability and expectation led to much trouble. It greatlydamaged clearness […] and even directed them to a wrong track. […]However, after casting away that clothing […] and supplementing the140

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