# REED: P-Values: Come, Let Us Reason Together

### 6 Comments on “REED: P-Values: Come, Let Us Reason Together”

1. Yes, it’s quite bizarre to claim as they do that no p-value, no matter how small & legit, can reveal the present of an effect. That is tantamount to denying the possibility of statistical falsification in science. Statistics can be nothing more than window dressing. I think it’s a mistake and I’m trying to urge them to fix it.

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• Thanks for the comment. You know these people far better than I do. However, it’s not my impression that they are saying statistics is just window dressing. Rather, they don’t seem to have a “systematic theology” about how to use statistics. So at times the message is, “p-values tell us nothing about the hypothesis”, and at other times, it’s we should have “holistic thinking”. Exactly how p-values fit into holistic thinking is never made clear, at least to me.

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• One need only draw out the consequences slightly to see that if no p-values can ever indicate the presence of an effect, then effects would need to be discernible w/o stat (interocular test). Thus, window-dressing.* We need, not holism, but a piecemeal approach where questions are split off. That’s how we detect mistakes & build new theories, rather than require an exhaustive set of models/hyps just to get an inquiry going. Check out https://errorstatistics.com/2019/05/14/sist-all-excerpts-and-mementos-may-2018-may-2019/.
*I’m not saying they really mean this, but that’s what’s said in the latest ASA statement (March 20, 2019).

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2. Nice post, Bob! I disagree with your main point, as I’m sure you know. There is no simple rule for deciding what’s “true”, plausible, or interesting.

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• Hi Nat, Thanks for the comment. Maybe we don’t disagree? There’s some room between saying p-values tell us something and p-values tell us everything. Definitely not saying the latter!

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