You know I love epistemology — the study of how we know what we know. It was high time I dedicated a whole episode to this topic. And what better guest than Aubrey Clayton, the author of the book Bernoulli’s Fallacy: Statistical Illogic and the Crisis of Modern Science. I’m in the middle of reading it, and it’s a really great read!
Aubrey is a mathematician in Boston who teaches the philosophy of probability and statistics at the Harvard Extension School. He holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, and his writing has appeared in Pacific Standard, Nautilus, and the Boston Globe.
We talked about what he deems “a catastrophic error in the logic of the standard statistical methods in almost all the sciences” and why this error manifests even outside of science, like in medicine, law, public policy, etc.
But don’t worry, we’re not doomed — we’ll also see where we go from there. As a big fan of E.T Jaynes, Aubrey will also tell us how this US scientist influenced his own thinking as well as the field of Bayesian inference in general.
Our theme music is « Good Bayesian », by Baba Brinkman (feat MC Lars and Mega Ran). Check out his awesome work at https://bababrinkman.com/ !
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Links from the show:
- Aubrey’s website: https://aubreyclayton.com/
- Aubrey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aubreyclayton
- Bernoulli’s Fallacy: https://aubreyclayton.com/bernoulli
- Aubrey’s probability theory lectures based on E.T Jayne’s work: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9v9IXDsJkktefQzX39wC2YG07vw7DsQ_
- What Society Gets Wrong About Statistics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDulF2MzsIU
- The Prosecutor’s Fallacy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prosecutor%27s_fallacy
- The Theory That Would Not Die — How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10672848-the-theory-that-would-not-die
- LBS #18, How to ask good Research Questions and encourage Open Science, with Daniel Lakens: https://www.learnbayesstats.com/episode/18-how-to-ask-good-research-questions-and-encourage-open-science-with-daniel-lakens
- LBS #35, The Past, Present & Future of BRMS, with Paul Bürkner: https://www.learnbayesstats.com/episode/35-past-present-future-brms-paul-burkner
- LBS #40, Bayesian Stats for the Speech & Language Sciences, with Allison Hilger and Timo Roettger: https://www.learnbayesstats.com/episode/40-bayesian-stats-speech-language-sciences-allison-hilger-timo-roettger