Famous statistician quotes

I found very interesting post in Cross Validated website: Famous statistician quotes. I really liked some of them.

  • All models are wrong, but some are useful. George E. P. Box
  • Statisticians, like artists, have the bad habit of falling in love with their models. George E. P. Box
  • In God we trust. All others must bring data. W. Edwards Deming
  • Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary a qualification for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write. H.G. Wells
  • A big computer, a complex algorithm and a long time does not equal science. Robert Gentleman
  • All generalizations are false, including this one. Mark Twain
  • If you torture the data enough, nature will always confess. Ronald Coase
  • He uses statistics like a drunken man uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination. Andrew Lang
  • Everybody believes in the exponential law of errors [i.e., the Normal distribution]: the experimenters, because they think it can be proved by mathematics; and the mathematicians, because they believe it has been established by observation. Whittaker, E. T. and Robinson, G. "Normal Frequency Distribution."
  • I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians. And I'm not kidding. Hal Varian
  • It is easy to lie with statistics. It is hard to tell the truth without statistics. Andrejs Dunkels
  • My thesis is simply this: probability does not exist. Bruno de Finetti
  • We are drowning in information and starving for knowledge. Rutherford D. Roger
  • The Earth is round. p < .05. Jacob Cohen
  • When I see articles with lots of significance tests, I say that the statisticians are p-ing on the research. Herman Friedmann
  • Torture numbers, and they'll confess to anything. Gregg Easterbrook
  • With three constants, I can fit a dog. With four, I can make it bark. William Reifsnyder
  • The best time to plan an experiment is after you've done it. R.A. Fisher

And the best one I love and used as epigraph for my PhD thesis: "He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may be cast." by Leonardo da Vinci


  1. My favorite quote is attributed to Cliffor Stoll: "Data is not information, information is not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom."

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