Thomas Bayes and the crisis in science

David Papineau in the Times Literary Supplement:

We are living in new Bayesian age. Applications of Bayesian probability are taking over our lives. Doctors, lawyers, engineers and financiers use computerized Bayesian networks to aid their decision-making. Psychologists and neuroscientists explore the Bayesian workings of our brains. Statisticians increasingly rely on Bayesian logic. Even our email spam filters work on Bayesian principles.

It was not always thus. For most of the two and a half centuries since the Reverend Thomas Bayes first made his pioneering contributions to probability theory, his ideas were side-lined. The high priests of statistical thinking condemned them as dangerously subjective and Bayesian theorists were regarded as little better than cranks. It is only over the past couple of decades that the tide has turned. What tradition long dismissed as unhealthy speculation is now generally regarded as sound judgement.

More here.