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Margaret Mead
Review Article

Principled Versus Statistical Thinking in Diagnosis and Treatment of Stroke


Opinion statementMedical science is now synonymous with probability-based statistics. Statistics deals with a group; it does not need probability theory. Probability theory is consistent with the worldview that the universe is infinite, bounded, random, and governed by chance. Its logic is binary, its geometry is Cartesian, its rules offer a scientific method by which hypotheses may be tested. Clinical trials and even hypothesis testing at the bedside have nestled into the probability foundation. As a result, scientific “evidence” now appears only through the lens of probability theory. Because there is no definitive truth in the worldview of probability theory, the truth of evidence lies in probabilities only. The probabilistic view of science has a firm impact on the practice of medicine and implications for medical–legal decisions.