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

A physician is a blind man armed with a club. He lifts it without knowingwho will he hit. If he hits the disease, he kills it; if he hits Nature, he killsNature.The physician most deserving to be consulted, is that who least believes inmedicine.All this is contained in the second edition **of** his book, but was written notlater than in 1783, the year **of** his death.Especially important was the study **of** prevention **of** smallpox(Condamine 1759, 1763, 1773; Karn 1931). Condamine (1759) listed theobjections against inoculation, both medical and religious. Indeed, anapproval from theologians was really needed. White (1896/1898) describedthe warfare **of** science with theology and included (vol. 2, pp. 55 – 59)examples **of** fierce opposition to inoculation (and, up to 1803, to vaccination**of** smallpox). Many thousands **of** Canadians perished in the mid-19 th centuryonly because, stating their religious belief, they had refused to be inoculated.White distinguished between theology, the opposing force, and practicalreligion. Condamine (1773) included his correspondence, in particular withDaniel Bernoulli, to whom he had given the data on smallpox epidemicswhich the latter used in his research.Karn began her article by stating thatThe method used in this paper for determining the influence **of** the deathratesfrom some particular diseases on the duration **of** life is based onsuggestions which were made in the first place by Daniel Bernoulli.Daniel Bernoulli (1766) justified inoculation. That procedure, however,spread infection, was therefore somewhat dangerous for the neighbourhoodand prohibited for some time, first in England, then in France. Referring tostatistical data, but not publishing it, Bernoulli introduced necessarily crudeparameters **of** smallpox epidemics and assumed that the inoculation itselfproved fatal in 0.5% **of** cases. He formed and solved the appropriatedifferential equation and thus showed the relation between the age, thenumber **of** people **of** the same age, and **of** those **of** them who had notcontacted smallpox. Also by means **of** a differential equation he derived asimilar formula for a population undergoing inoculation. It occurred thatinoculation lengthened the mean duration **of** life by 3 years and 2 monthsand was therefore extremely useful. Vaccination, the inestimable discoveryby Jenner, who had thereby become one **of** the greatest benefactors **of**mankind (Laplace 1814/1995, p. 83),was introduced at the end **of** the 18 th century. Its magnificent final successhad not however ruled out statistical studies. Simon (1887, vol. 1, p. 230)concluded that only comprehensive national statistics could duly compare itwith inoculation.D’Alembert (1761; 1768c) criticized Daniel Bernoulli, see Todhunter(1865, pp. 265 – 271, 277 – 278 and 282 – 286). Not everyone will agree, heargued, to lengthen his mean duration **of** life at the expense **of** even a lowrisk **of** dying at once **of** inoculation; then, moral considerations were alsoinvolved, as when inoculating children. Without denying the benefits **of** thatprocedure, D’Alembert concluded that statistical data on smallpox should becollected, additional studies made and that the families **of** those dying **of**51