Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Happy Birthday from Google!

Google wishes happy birthday to ..... ?


  1. Is this a trick question? OK then: Carlos Santana (who has yellow wrinkled phenotype).

  2. The inventor of data fudging and fraud in support of a pet theory!

  3. @Tom Rees
    While the jury is out on how to judge Mendel's fudging, this may tell you that cooking and trimming data are arts much older than Mendel:

    Babbage, Charles (1830). Reflections on the Decline of Science in England, and on Some of Its Causes. London: B. Fellowes.


  4. The claim that Mendel fudged his data is attributed to R.A. Fisher in 1936. The accusation has been contested by many other geneticists.

    Hart, D.L. and Fairbanks D.J. (2007) wrote ....

    In this article we summarize the nature of Fisher's criticism of the two key series of experiments. We argue that the criticism is not justified by the words that Mendel wrote or by the data presented in his paper. In the second series of experiments, Fisher appears to have misinterpreted the trait that Mendel actually examined (Fairbanks and Rytting 2001). In view of the manner in which Mendel likely carried out the experiment and the trait he probably scored, Mendel's expectation is more nearly correct than Fisher's. In the first series of experiments, the results do not differ significantly from Fisher's expectation, so there is no factual basis to claim a discrepancy. Indeed, in this series of experiments, Mendel repeated an experiment whose outcome he did not like, and the pooled results of the original experiment and the repeat fit Fisher's expectation almost exactly. Our conclusion is that, despite his painstaking reconstruction of Mendel's experiments, Fisher was intemperate if not reckless in alleging deliberate falsification.

    Novitski, E. (2004) wrote,

    Here I consider an alternative way of examining Mendel's procedures and results in those experiments (9 of 24 total) and suggest that Fisher, in his detailed and illuminating analysis of Mendel's results, may have erred in assigning specific expectations to those runs and that Mendel's expectations in fact may have been closer to the mark than Fisher's.

  5. It occurs to me that statistical analysis is a more exact science than classification. Very likely, Mendel was better at classification than Fisher, while Fisher was undoubtably better at statistical analysis.

    The problem with classification is that if you inadvertently don't notice the letter 'a' is missing, you end up with "classifiction."

    (And if I'm wrong about that, then here I am making a classification error and publishing a classifiction.)