From http://www.bayesianphilosophy.com/dont-ban-p-values/:

When Frequentists dominated statistics from about 1930 to 1990 or so, they engaged in every kind of draconian, career destroying, and underhanded method possible to squash Bayesians.

I wonder at which degree this claim is exaggerated ? (I hope it is exaggerated...) I heard/read this kind of claims several times with various degrees of intensity and I wonder whether it is completely baseless or comes from specific striking articles/attacks/periods/... ?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I can't see how it could not be an exaggeration. But it does strike me as typical of the things you see written in the perennial Frequentist-Bayesian squabbling. $\endgroup$ May 3, 2016 at 18:30
  • $\begingroup$ @gung Agreed but is it completely baseless ? or does it come from specific striking articles or attacks ? (thks udpate my question) $\endgroup$
    – peuhp
    May 3, 2016 at 18:35
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Wow. Personal opinion here, but taking everything from that blog with a heavy grain of salt. Entertaining, but a little off the rails. $\endgroup$
    – Cliff AB
    May 3, 2016 at 18:55
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Although it has been recommended that this thread be made CW, it seems to me that it could have a factual answer supported by appropriate (historical) research and authorities and as such does not seem to require CW status. However, any polemical replies that attempt to rehash the Frequentist-vs-Bayesian argument would be inappropriate for our format. $\endgroup$
    – whuber
    May 3, 2016 at 19:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @whuber Perhaps a candidate for history of science.SE? $\endgroup$
    – Sycorax
    May 3, 2016 at 21:21

1 Answer 1


This could be an interpretation (and possibly exagerration) of the less tolerant side of Fisher's personality (in his role as frequentist advocate in chief). For example see Joan Box's comment of Fisher's personality in


and note it is quoted by someone who is very well disposed towards Fisher.

Fisher rejected Harold Jeffreys' early development of Bayesian statistics, and attacked it vigorously.The book "Interpreting Probability: Controversies and Developments in the Early Twentieth Century", by David Howie (Cambridge University Press, 2002) apparently has coverage of a lot of the back and forth that went on.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer and reference. I lend a copy of Howie book, it looks interesting. I hope I will find the time to read it. $\endgroup$
    – peuhp
    May 9, 2016 at 12:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.