# Ronald Fisher Quotes

Enjoy the top 42 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Ronald Fisher.

“In scientific subjects, the natural remedy for dogmatism has been found in research.”

— Ronald Fisher —

I believe sanity and realism can be restored to the teaching of Mathematical Statistics most easily and directly by entrusting such teaching largely to men and women who have had personal experience of research in the Natural Sciences.

— Ronald Fisher

To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking him to perform a post-mortem examination: he may be able to say what the experiment died of.

— Ronald Fisher

The tendency of modern scientific teaching is to neglect the great books, to lay far too much stress upon relatively unimportant modern work, and to present masses of detail of doubtful truth and questionable weight in such a way as to obscure principles.

— Ronald Fisher

We have the duty of formulating, of summarizing, and of communicating our conclusions, in intelligible form, in recognition of the right of other free minds to utilize them in making their own decisions.

— Ronald Fisher

“In scientific subjects, the natural remedy for dogmatism has been found in research.”

— Ronald Fisher

The analysis of variance is not a mathematical theorem, but rather a convenient method of arranging the arithmetic.

— Ronald Fisher

Natural selection is not evolution.

— Ronald Fisher

No efforts of mine could avail to make the book easy reading.

— Ronald Fisher

After all, it is a common weakness of young authors to put too much into their papers.

— Ronald Fisher

The more highly adapted an organism becomes, the less adaptable it is to any new change.

— Ronald Fisher

Although no explanation can be expected to be satisfactory, it remains a possibility among others that Mendel was deceived by some assistant who knew too well what was expected. This possibility is supported by independent evidence that the data of most, if not all, of the experiments have been falsified so as to agree closely with Mendel's expectations.

— Ronald Fisher

Faith Is Not Credulity.

— Ronald Fisher

(Coining phrase "null hypothesis") In relation to any experiment we may speak of this hypothesis as the "null hypothesis," and it should be noted that the null hypothesis is never proved or established, but is possibly disproved, in the course of experimentation. Every experiment may be said to exist only in order to give the facts a chance of disproving the null hypothesis.

— Ronald Fisher

If ... we choose a group of social phenomena with no antecedent knowledge of the causation or absence of causation among them, then the calculation of correlation coefficients, total or partial, will not advance us a step toward evaluating the importance of the causes at work.

— Ronald Fisher

The so-called co-efficient of heritability, which I regard as one of those unfortunate short-cuts, which have often emerged in biometry for lack of a more thorough analysis of the data.

— Ronald Fisher

The statistician cannot excuse himself from the duty of getting his head clear on the principles of scientific inference, but equally no other thinking man can avoid a like obligation.

— Ronald Fisher

The academic mind, as we know, is sometimes capable of assuming an aggressive attitude. The official mind, on the contrary, is and has to be, expert in the art of self-defence.

— Ronald Fisher

Fairly large print is a real antidote to stiff reading.

— Ronald Fisher

No practical biologist interested in sexual reproduction would be led to work out the detailed consequences experienced by organisms having three or more sexes; yet what else should he do if he wishes to understand why the sexes are, in fact, always two?

— Ronald Fisher

The million, million, million ... to one chance happens once in a million, million, million ... times no matter how surprised we may be that it results in us.

— Ronald Fisher

The best causes tend to attract to their support the worst arguments, which seems to be equally true in the intellectual and in the moral sense.

— Ronald Fisher

We may consequently state the fundamental theorem of Natural Selection in the form: The rate of increase in fitness of any organism at any time is equal to its genetic variance in fitness at that time.

— Ronald Fisher

No aphorism is more frequently repeated in connection with field trials, than that we must ask Nature few questions, or, ideally, one question, at a time. The writer is convinced that this view is wholly mistaken. Nature, he suggests, will best respond to a logical and carefully thought out questionnaire; indeed, if we ask her a single question, she will often refuse to answer until some other topic has been discussed.

— Ronald Fisher

The best time to plan an experiment is after you've done it.

— Ronald Fisher

Professor Eddington has recently remarked that 'The law that entropy always increases the second law of thermodynamics holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature'. It is not a little instructive that so similar a law [the fundamental theorem of natural selection] should hold the supreme position among the biological sciences.

— Ronald Fisher

The statistician cannot evade the responsibility for understanding the process he applies or recommends.

— Ronald Fisher

A book that I rate only second in importance in evolution theory to Darwin 's Origin (this as joined with its supplement Of Man), and also rate as undoubtedly one of the greatest books of the twentieth century

— Ronald Fisher

Modern statisticians are familiar with the notion that any finite body of data contains only a limited amount of information on any point under examination; that this limit is set by the nature of the data themselves, and cannot be increased by any amount of ingenuity expended in their statistical examination: that the statistician's task, in fact, is limited to the extraction of the whole of the available information on any particular issue.

— Ronald Fisher

We can set no limit to human potentialities; all that is best in man can be bettered; it is not a question of producing a highly efficient machine, ... but of quickening all the distinctly human features, all that is best in man, all the different qualities, some obvious, some infinitely subtle, which we recognize as humanly excellent.

— Ronald Fisher

This is perhaps the most important book on evolutionary genetics ever written

— Ronald Fisher

The actual and physical conduct of an experiment must govern the statistical procedure of its interpretation.

— Ronald Fisher

More attention to the History of Science is needed, as much by scientists as by historians, and especially by biologists , and this should mean a deliberate attempt to understand the thoughts of the great masters of the past, to see in what circumstances or intellectual milieu their ideas were formed, where they took the wrong turning or stopped short on the right track.

— Ronald Fisher

The neutral zone of selective advantage in the neighbourhood of zero is thus so narrow that changes in the environment, and in the genetic constitution of species, must cause this zone to be crossed and perhaps recrossed relatively rapidly in the course of evolutionary change, so that many possible gene substitutions may have a fluctuating history of advance and regression before the final balance of selective advantage is determined.

— Ronald Fisher

Inductive inference is the only process known to us by which essentially new knowledge comes into the world.

— Ronald Fisher

No isolated experiment, however significant in itself, can suffice for the experimental demonstration of any natural phenomenon; for the "one chance in a million" will undoubtedly occur, with no less and no more than its appropriate frequency, however surprised we may be that it should occur to us.

— Ronald Fisher

We have usually no knowledge that any one factor will exert its effects independently of all others that can be varied, or that its effects are particularly simply related to variations in these other factors.

— Ronald Fisher

It was Darwin's chief contribution, not only to Biology but to the whole of natural science, to have brought to light a process by which contingencies a priori improbable are given, in the process of time, an increasing probability, until it is their non-occurrence, rather than their occurrence, which becomes highly improbable.

— Ronald Fisher

(Coining the phrase 'test of significance'): Critical tests of this kind may be called tests of significance, and when such tests are available we may discover whether a second sample is or is not significantly different from the first.

— Ronald Fisher

If one in twenty does not seem high enough odds, we may, if we prefer it, draw the line at one in fifty (the 2 per cent. point), or one in a hundred (the 1 per cent. point). Personally, the writer prefers to set a low standard of significance at the 5 per cent. point, and ignore entirely all results which fail to reach this level. A scientific fact should be regarded as experimentally established only if a properly designed experiment rarely fails to give this level of significance.

— Ronald Fisher

I believe that no one who is familiar, either with mathematical advances in other fields, or with the range of special biological conditions to be considered, would ever conceive that everything could be summed up in a single mathematical formula, however complex.

— Ronald Fisher

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