O Brother Where Art Thou is in my top five all time favorite movies. In this particular clip both Everett and Pete want to be the leader of the three-man “gang.” So they take a vote . . .
I was reminded of this when I read one of Mark Frank’s comments to my last post.
In that post I pointed out that over at The Skeptical Zone, Elizabeth Liddle says this:
Chance is not an explanation, and therefore cannot be rejected, or supported, as a hypothesis.
But Ronald A. Thisted, PhD, a statistics professor in the Departments of Statistics and Health Studies at the University of Chicago, says this:
If the chance explanation can be ruled out, then the differences seen in the study must be due to the effectiveness of the treatment being studied.
Mark Frank commented on the post, and I tried to pin him down as to whether he agreed with Thisted or Liddle. After much squirming he finally said:
I never disagreed with either Lizzie or Thisted on the essentials because they are in agreement. All that has happened is that Thisted has used ‘chance’ in a somewhat slipshod way.
Liddle: “Chance is not an explanation.”
Thisted: “The purpose of statistical testing is to rule out the chance explanation.”
Frank: “OK, I’m with you fellas.”
One of them might be right and the other wrong. They may both be wrong. One thing is certain, they can’t both be right.
Hey Mark, is this why you are so squishy on the Law of Noncontradiction? You want to reserve the option of having it both ways?