Statistics is more topical than ever. Numerous decisions depend on statistical considerations: just think of the Corona crisis or decisions about approving new drugs or other products. If researchers announce they have proved some fact using statistical tests, can we then always be sure that their claim is correct? How, and more importantly why, does statistics work? What can we expect from statistics and what not? Fact or Fluke? is not a textbook that explains statistical tests to the reader; instead, it discusses what comes before those tests: the philosophy behind the statistics. Should one carry out tests, or are there other ways to look at statistics?
Ronald Meester and Klaas Slooten use a variety of examples – from court cases to theoretical physics – to present different views on statistics and provide arguments for what they think is the best point of view. This book is meant for anyone who is in some way concerned with, or interested in, statistical evidence: scientific researchers, students, teachers, mathematicians, philosophers, lawyers, managers, and no doubt many others.