On The Scientific Method

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See all articles by Rajeev R. Bhattacharya

Rajeev R. Bhattacharya

Washington Finance and Economics; Johns Hopkins University

Date Written: July 15, 2020


"If you toss a coin seven times, and all tosses come up heads, what is the probability of the eighth toss also turning up head?" I show that the answer depends on how sure one is about the prior valuation of the probability that the coin is fair. I then extend the analysis to valuation of the probability of gender-neutrality of birth on the basis of the observed number of female and male births, using Bayesian updating. I finally show that faith consists of a degenerate prior and that the scientific method requires a non-degenerate prior.

Keywords: Uncertainty; Coin Tosses; Gender Proportions; Bayes Theorem; Scientific Method; Science; Faith.

JEL Classification: B4; C6; D8

Suggested Citation

Bhattacharya, Rajeev, On The Scientific Method (July 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Rajeev Bhattacharya (Contact Author)

Washington Finance and Economics ( email )

United States

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