This full of life selection of essays examines in witty element the historical past of a few of the thoughts fascinated with bringing statistical argument "to the table," and a few of the pitfalls which have been encountered. the subjects diversity from seventeenth-century drugs and the stream of blood, to the reason for the nice melancholy and the impression of the California gold discoveries of 1848 upon expense degrees, to the determinations of the form of the Earth and the rate of sunshine, to the meter of Virgil's poetry and the prediction of the second one Coming of Christ. The identify essay tells how the statistician Karl Pearson got here to factor the problem to place "statistics at the desk" to the economists Marshall, Keynes, and Pigou in 1911. The 1911 dispute concerned the impression of parental alcoholism upon kids, however the problem is normal and undying: vital arguments require proof, and quantitative proof calls for statistical evaluate. a few essays learn deep and sophisticated statistical rules akin to the aggregation and regression paradoxes; others inform of the beginning of the typical guy and the overview of fingerprints as a forerunner of using DNA in forensic technological know-how. a number of of the essays are completely nontechnical; all learn statistical principles with an ironic eye for his or her essence and what their heritage can let us know approximately present disputes.
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