(Coining phrase "null hypothesis") In relation to any experiment we may speak of this hypothesis as the “null hypothesis,” and it should be noted that the null hypothesis is never proved or established, but is possibly disproved, in the course of experimentation. Every experiment may be said to exist only in order to give the facts a chance of disproving the null hypothesis.

Ronald Fisher— The Design of Experiments, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1935, p.18

There is, then, in this analysis of variance no indication of any other than innate and heritable factors at work. (Coining of the phrase ‘analysis of variance’.)

Ronald Fisher— The causes of human variability. Eugenics Review 10, 213-220, 1918.

(Coining the phrase ‘test of significance’): Critical tests of this kind may be called tests of significance, and when such tests are available we may discover whether a second sample is or is not significantly different from the first.

Ronald Fisher— Statistical Methods for Research Workers, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1925, p.43.

Fairly large print is a real antidote to stiff reading.

Ronald Fisher— 31 May 1929, in a letter to K.Sisam, Oxford University Press. Printed in Natural Selection, Heredity, and Eugenics, p.20, ed. J.H.Bennett, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983.

I believe that no one who is familiar, either with mathematical advances in other fields, or with the range of special biological conditions to be considered, would ever conceive that everything could be summed up in a single mathematical formula, however complex.

Ronald Fisher— The evolutionary modification of genetic phenomena. Proceedings of the 6th International Congress of Genetics 1, 165-72, 1932.

The academic mind, as we know, is sometimes capable of assuming an aggressive attitude. The official mind, on the contrary, is and has to be, expert in the art of self-defence.

Ronald Fisher— Presidential Address to the First Indian Statistical Congress, 1938. Sankhya 4, 14-17.

To consult the statistician after an experiment is finished is often merely to ask him to conduct a post mortem examination. He can perhaps say what the experiment died of.

Ronald Fisher— Presidential Address to the First Indian Statistical Congress, 1938. Sankhya 4, 14-17. ([1])

After all, it is a common weakness of young authors to put too much into their papers.

Ronald Fisher— Contributions to Mathematical Statistics, New York: Wiley, 1950, p.10.308a.

Natural selection is a mechanism for generating an exceedingly high degree of improbability.

Ronald Fisher— Reported by J. S. Huxley in Evolution in Action, London: Chatto and Windus, 1953.

Faith Is Not Credulity.

Ronald Fisher— Subtitle to Science and Christianity, Friend 113, 995–996, 1955.

(in full: ‘Christian children should ... be taught that faith does not mean credulity; but is a quality, very like courage, which makes one hold fast to that which is good, ... .)

... the best causes tend to attract to their support the worst arguments, which seems to be equally true in the intellectual and in the moral sense.

Ronald Fisher— Statistical Methods and Scientific Inference, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1956, p.31.

More attention to the History of Science is needed, as much by scientists as by historians, and especially by biologists , and this should mean a deliberate attempt to understand the thoughts of the great masters of the past, to see in what circumstances or intellectual milieu their ideas were formed, where they took the wrong turning or stopped short on the right track.

Ronald Fisher— Natural selection from the genetical standpoint. Australian Journal of Science 22, 16-17, 1959.

Natural Selection is not evolution.

Ronald Fisher— Preface, opening sentence, p. vii

We may consequently state the fundamental theorem of Natural Selection in the form:;: The rate of increase in fitness of any organism at any time is equal to its genetic variance in fitness at that time.

Ronald Fisher— Defining the fundamental theorem of natural selection, Ch. 2, p. 35

Professor Eddington has recently remarked that 'The law that entropy always increases the second law of thermodynamics holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of nature'. It is not a little instructive that so similar a law [the fundamental theorem of natural selection] should hold the supreme position among the biological sciences.

Ronald Fisher— On the fundamental theorem of natural selection, Ch. 2, p. 36

He has made contributions to many areas of science; among them are agronomy , anthropology, astronomy, bacteriology, botany, economics, forestry, meteorology, psychology, public health, and-above all-genetics, in which he is recognized as one of the leaders. Out of this varied scientific research and his skill in mathematics, he has evolved systematic principles for the interpretation of empirical data; and he has founded a science of experimental design. On the foundations he has laid down, there has been erected a structure of statistical techniques that are used whenever men attempt to learn about nature from experiment and observation.

Ronald Fisher— W. Allen Wallis (1952) at the University of Chicago while honoring Fisher with the Honorary degree of Doctor of Science; cited in: George E. P. Box (1976) "Science and Statistics"

A book that I rate only second in importance in evolution theory to Darwin 's Origin (this as joined with its supplement Of Man), and also rate as undoubtedly one of the greatest books of the twentieth century

Ronald Fisher— W.D. Hamilton, on the cover of the Variorum Edition of

This is perhaps the most important book on evolutionary genetics ever written"

Ronald Fisher— Laurence Cook, on

The analysis of variance is not a mathematical theorem, but rather a convenient method of arranging the arithmetic.

Ronald Fisher— Discussion to ‘Statistics in agricultural research’ by J.Wishart, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Supplement, 1, 26-61, 1934.

The million, million, million ... to one chance happens once in a million, million, million ... times no matter how surprised we may be that it results in us.

Ronald Fisher— Quoted by K.Mather, Heredity 30, 89–91, 1973.

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