The Theory That Would Not Die, By Sharon Bertsch


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The Independent Culture

When Bishop Berkeley rubbished the free-thinking view that reason could illuminate any subject, an opposing clergyman came up with a theory so simple that even an innumerate reviewer can understand it: Initial Beliefs + Recent Objective Data = A New and Improved Belief.

Though Rev. Bayes dropped his own idea, it was independently elaborated by French mathematician Pierre Simon Laplace.

In this revelatory, even exciting book about probability, McGrayne shows how Bayes's rule cracked Enigma codes, sent spam into the e-bin and created a driverless car.