PerspectiveMathematics

Bayes' Theorem in the 21st Century

Science  07 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6137, pp. 1177-1178
DOI: 10.1126/science.1236536

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Summary

The term "controversial theorem" sounds like an oxymoron, but Bayes' theorem has played this part for two-and-a-half centuries. Twice it has soared to scientific celebrity, twice it has crashed, and it is currently enjoying another boom. The theorem itself is a landmark of logical reasoning and the first serious triumph of statistical inference, yet is still treated with suspicion by most statisticians. There are reasons to believe in the staying power of its current popularity, but also some signs of trouble ahead.