Introduction to Pearson (1900) On the Criterion that a Given System of Deviations from the Probable in the Case of a Correlated System of Variables is Such that it Can be Reasonably Supposed to have Arisen from Random Sampling

  • G. A. Barnard
Part of the Springer Series in Statistics book series (SSS)


In 1984, the journal Science published a series of articles listing 20 important scientific breakthroughs of the 20th century: relativity, the quantum theory, and so on. One article in the series was devoted to the paper we are about to discuss. Written by Ian Hacking, it is referenced below. Karl Pearson’s paper is the fifth in a series of his early papers, most of which are concerned with the mathematical problems of biological evolution. Insofar as this paper is the first of the series that is not primarily concerned with biological problems, it could be taken to represent the break into modern, 20th century statistics.


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  1. Hacking. I. (1984). Trial by Number. In Science 84, pp. 69–70.Google Scholar
  2. Stigler. Stephen J. (1986) The History of Statistics: The Measurement of Uncertainty, Belknap. Harvard University Press, p. 361.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

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  • G. A. Barnard

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