Intoxicated by statistics

The nature of statistical truth
Feb 21, 2021Last updated: Feb 21, 2021

I'm keep a quote here by the biologist Stephen Jay Gould, who criticized the interpretation of quantitative measures of intelligence as real:

The idea that we have detected something 'underlying' the externalities of a large set of correlation coefficients, something perhaps more real than the superficial measurements themselves, can be intoxicating. It is Plato's essence, the abstract, external reality underlying superficial appearances. But it is a temptation that we must resist, for it reflects an ancient prejudice, not a truth of nature.

© 2023 Sanyam Kapoor