Sir. Ronald Fisher

You may say, “But, Meehl, R. A. Fisher was a genius, and we all know how valuable his stuff has been in agronomy. Why shouldn’t it work for soft psychology?” Well, I am not intimidated by Fisher’s genius, because my complaint is not in the field of mathematical statistics, and as regards inductive logic and philosophy of science, it is well-known that Sir Ronald permitted himself a great deal of dogmatism. I remember my amazement when the late Rudolf Carnap said to me, the first time I met him, “But, of course, on this subject Fisher is just mistaken: surely you must know that.” My statistician friends tell me that it is not clear just how useful the significance test has been in biological science either, but I set that aside as beyond my competence to discuss.