Quantifying the Evidence About Science Hypotheses


Richard Arthur Leibler (1914–2003) was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 18, 1914. He received a Bachelors and Masters degree in mathematics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Illinois (1939). After serving in the Navy during the war, he was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and a member of the von Neumann Computer Project 1946–1948. From 1948–1980 he worked for the National Security Agency (1948–1958 and 1977–1980) and the Communications Research Division of the Institute for Defense Analysis (1958–1977). He then was the president of Data Handling Inc., a consulting firm for the Intelligence Community. He received many awards, including the Exceptional Civilian Service Award.

The ability to simply rank science hypotheses and their models is a major advance over what can be done using null hypothesis tests. However, much more can be done, all under the framework of “strength of evidence,” for hypotheses in the a priori candidate set. Such evidence is exactly what Platt (1964) wanted in his well-known paper on strong inference. I begin by describing four new evidential quantities.


Model Probability Capture Probability Bovine Tuberculosis Science Hypothesis Full Reality 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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