Originally published in The Reasoner Volume 10, Number 2 – February 2016
The Cross-Check blog of the Scientific American, published recently a post titled Bayes’s Theorem: What’s the Big Deal?
From the social media, to rather specialised mailing lists, this piece has clearly reached a considerably wide public. Indeed chances are that you have already come across it. If you haven’t, here’s a quick fix, for the subtitle really says it all: “Bayes’s theorem, touted as a powerful method for generating knowledge, can also be used to promote superstition and pseudoscience.”
So, yes, this is yet another piece discussing, with splendid shallowness, why so many seemingly learned people call themselves Bayesians, and why equally learned masses get offended by the label. The stated goal is clarificatory: “the Bayes fever has become too pervasive to ignore”, so the author takes upon himself the burden “to get to the bottom of Bayes, once and for all”. I refer the interested reader to the original post to find out how the bottom of Bayes ultimately looks like.