b-hebrew digest: September 02, 2000

Bill Rea cctr114 at it.canterbury.ac.nz
Sun Sep 3 18:30:17 EDT 2000

Liz wrote:-

>There is a law of evidence called Bayes' Theorem. It says that rational
>people, no matter
>how disparate their original beliefs, will come to the same opinion in time,
>if given sufficient and identical evidence -- PROVIDED that they are not
>*certain* of their original position.

I don't think this is supported by real life experience outside the
hard sciences like physics, chemistry, and so on. Perhaps the problem
lies with the assumption that "rational" people exist. While people
can reason, people are primarily emotive creatures. Another problem
may lie with "sufficient" if people don't agree after the evidence
is presented, you just say, "Oh, we don't have sufficient evidence yet." 

Either way, Bayes' Theorem sounds like pointless sociological waffle
to me. Perhaps its useful for beating people who don't agree with you!

Bill Rea, Information Technology Dept., Canterbury  University  \_ 
E-Mail b dot rea at it dot canterbury dot ac dot nz             </   New 
Phone   64-3-364-2331, Fax     64-3-364-2332                   /)  Zealand 
Unix Systems Administrator                                    (/' 

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