Cause he said so

Liz Fried lizfried at
Sat Sep 9 11:21:46 EDT 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Kirk [mailto:Peter_Kirk at]
> Sent: Saturday, September 09, 2000 1:24 PM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Cause he said so
> LMB,
> It is customary to consider each hypothesis on its own merits rather than
> only by comparison with alternative hypotheses. So it is quite proper to
> examine your hypothesis in detail, with every possible test, apart from
> looking at any alternatives.
> Suppose you were accused of a serious crime that was otherwise unsolved.
> Would you be happy to be convicted on the grounds that you had 
> failed to pin
> the blame convincingly on anyone else?

Not to nit-pick, but to clarify matters,
all hypotheses are examined against alternatives.
Often the alternative is simply the null hypothesis,
i.e., the hypothesis that A committed the crime is 
tested against the null hypothesis that A did not commit the crime.
A hypothesis is never tested by itself, that is not 
hypothesis testing. You can test each candidate for 
authorship against a null if you wish. 
Test H1. Moses wrote it against the null that he didn't.
What is the evidence that Moses wrote it anyway???
How did that tradition start?
Test H2. One person wrote the story of Noah against
the null that more than one (at least 2) wrote it.


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