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  • The great tragedy of Science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. A quote of English biologist Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895) from his Presidential address in 1870 to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Published in "Biogenesis and Abiogenesis," vol. 8, Collected Essays (1894).
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  • It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast. It keeps him young. A quote of Austrian animal behaviorist Konrad Lorenz (1903 - 1989) in "On Aggression", (English translation: 1966, Harvest books) p. 12. Quote also found in "Statistically Speaking - a Dictionary of Quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither p. 119.
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  • I don't see the logic of rejecting data just because they seem incredible. A quote of British Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle (1915 - 2001) found in "Statistically Speaking - A Dictionary of Quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither (IOP publishing, 1996) p. 150.
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  • The purpose of models is not to fit the data but to sharpen the questions. A quote of applied probabilist Samuel Karlin (1924 - 2007) from his Fisher memorial lecture April, 1983. The quote is found in "Statistically Speaking: a Dictionary of Quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither.
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  • Descriptive Statistics are like Real Estate plus. They are all about location, location, location ... plus spread, spread, spread. quote from Dennis Pearl (1951 - )
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  • Forecasting is very difficult, especially about the future. A quote of business economist Edgar R. Fiedler (1929 - 2003) found in "Across the Board", the magazine of The Conference Board, Inc. (June, 1977). The quote also appears in "Statistically Speaking: A dictionary of quotations" compiled by Carl Gaither and Alma Cavazos-Gaither.
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  • Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write! Quote from the presidential address in 1951 of mathematical statistician Samuel S. Wilks (1906 - 1964) to the American Statistical Association found in "JASA",Vol. 46, No. 253., pp. 1-18. Wilks was paraphrasing Herbert G. Wells (1866 - 1946) from his book "Mankind in the Making". The full H.G. Wells quote reads: "The great body of physical science, a great deal of the essential fact of financial science, and endless social and political problems are only accessible and only thinkable to those who have had a sound training in mathematical analysis, and the time may not be very remote when it will be understood that for complete initiation as an efficient citizen of one of the new great complex worldwide States that are now developing, it is as necessary to be able to compute, to think in averages and maxima and minima, as it is now to be able to read and write."
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  • While nothing is more uncertain than the duration of a single life, nothing is more certain than the average duration of a thousand lives. A quote of American actuary and abolitionist Elizur Wright (1804 - 1885).
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  • One sees in this essay that the theory of probabilities is basically only common sense reduced to a calculus. This quote of French astronomer and mathematician Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749 - 1827) may be found in "A philosophical Essay on Probabilities" (Springer, 1995) p. 124 English translation of "Essai Philosophique sur les Probabilites (1814)"
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  • A statistician's wife had twins. He was delighted. He rang the minister who was also delighted. "Bring them to church on Sunday and we'll baptize them," said the minister. "No," replied the statistician. "Baptize one. We'll keep the other as a control." This is joke number 30 on Gary Ramseyer's First Internet Gallery of Statistics Jokes at http://www.ilstu.edu/~gcramsey/Gallery.html
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