Neither Intimidated by God or Napoleon

laplaceWhen people mention Bayes’ Theorem, the cornerstone of much of modern probability thinking, most do not realize that much of the thinking to develop this theorem was done by Pierre-Simon Laplace, a French astronomer and mathematician. As if his work on that theorem was not enough to make him one of my heroes, I recently came across a wonderful conversation he held with Napoleon.

Napoleon had just been reading, he said, from another great scientist of the day, and he got into Laplace’s face about his reading: “Newton spoke of God in his book. I have perused yours but failed to find His name even once. Why?”

“Sire,” Laplace replied, “I have no need of that hypothesis.”

(Click here to view comments)

This entry was posted in Miscellaneous and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *