Boost logo

Boost :

From: Paul A Bristow (pbristow_at_[hidden])
Date: 2006-10-09 09:55:00


| -----Original Message-----
| From: boost-bounces_at_[hidden]
| [mailto:boost-bounces_at_[hidden]] On Behalf Of Topher Cooper
| Sent: 06 October 2006 00:01
| To: boost_at_[hidden]
| Subject: Re: [boost] Ann: Statistical distributions /
| Mathematical Special Functions
| At 01:43 PM 10/4/2006, you wrote:

| I've just started reading the documentation but I want to point out
| that phrases like:
| "we conclude that there is no significant difference, and accept the
| null hypothesis"
| are likely to interfere with any statistician taking the package
| seriously (unjustly, I think -- the statistics may be weak
| but you've
| obviously worked hard at the numerics, which is what you are
| supplying).
| One never, ever "accepts the null hypothesis." One collects
| evidence
| and on that basis you either reject the null hypothesis or fail to
| reject it. The point is that you don't ever really have evidence
| *for* the null hypothesis, only a lack of evidence against
| it. It is
| quite a different thing to say "any difference in the means in this
| test is statistically insignificant" than to say "This test gives me
| an objective reason to believe that the difference in the means is
| exactly 0 (i.e., the null hypothesis) rather than, say, 1.0E-23
| (which is as much a part of the alternate hypothesis as is
| 1.0E+23)". Or in other words, the lack of evidence of a difference
| should not be taken as evidence of a lack of difference.

It is really valuable to have professional statisticans input (correction!)
like this because we do want acceptance by professionals.

But we also have a much bigger audience/potential 'amateur' users who start
off being massively repelled
by statistics-speak words like 'null hypothesis': meeting the requirements
of both at the same time is not so easy.

And we'll try to put this right and expose to your scrutiny again.


Paul A Bristow
Prizet Farmhouse, Kendal, Cumbria UK LA8 8AB
+44 1539561830 & SMS, Mobile +44 7714 330204 & SMS

Boost list run by bdawes at, gregod at, cpdaniel at, john at