Last Tuesday, a mass grave of 120 Histomantic statisticians was discovered near an excavation site in Madrid. There has been outrage against the catholic community on this discovery as it’s just more mounting historic evidence against their gross mistreatment against this Histomancy community throughout the days of the inquisition and beyond. With the grave sight discovered near a known inquisition execution site of that brutal period, there is no question who was responsible.
“I join the entire congregation, Bishops, Abbots, Monks, Priests, Apostolic Delegates, Choir Boys, Pipe Organ Tuners, Flying Nuns, and whatever church leadership I missed in expressing deep sorrow. This brutal discovery is a sober reminder of how far even the church can fall away from Christ’s Love.” Pope Francis told the press at St. Peters. “Something like this can never happen again. We must’n’t allow it.” as transcribed by the pig latin transcripts.
The pope has come under intense fire from the media for the genuine but insensitive non-apology towards the historically discriminated statisticians. The Histomancy community has been in an uproar over the press release. After centuries of being discriminated against for such a common practice, many are even unaware of what the Histomancy community really is and why it was so controversial.
Histomancy has been long considered a dark art in the field of statistics, but now it’s become so widely accepted that it’s strange when you do not practice it professionally. According to Richard McElreath in Statistical Rethinking A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan, it is “the ancient art of divining likelihood functions from empirical histograms. This sorcery is used, for example, when testing for normality before deciding whether or not to use a non-parametric procedure. Histomancy is a false god…” McElreath goes on to trash the ancient practice.
Histomancy is the dark art of graphing your data and going, ehh, that looks Poisson to me. In pre-Christian Europe, such practices were common and wide spread among Gallic and German tribes who just wanted a quick way to Assume Normality. According to the ancient tome transcribed from tribal oral history by second century Romans in Histomancy in Inferential Statistics 1st Edition “Plot your outcome variable into equally spaced out bins [a histogram] and awe in wonder. Say a short incantation QUOD EST INDICIUM REVELARE. Now. Does the assumption feel natural? Trust your instincts. Slaughter a large rooster and read the entrails. If the intestines coil counter clockwise, your assumptions are safe.”
The church, much like McElreath’s take on the art of Histomancy are filled with purists. Although tolerating the practice, the Catholic church doctrine has never accepted it. “The eye of the beholder is tempted by many things. Sin, loose women, Abbey Ale, and most wantonly, unverified likelihood functions. Stay clear of the way of Histomancy for that is a path to hell and neglecting dangerously long tails. For thine is the Kingdom Amen,” wrote one 9th century French Monk.
While never moving against the large population of Histomantists for centuries in an organized movement, everything changed after the protestant reformation. During this time, those who followed non-catholic faiths tended to be more tolerant of the practice citing that it saved time and had nothing to do with idol worship and biblical criticism is rare outside of first or second Maccabees. It quickly became a critical issue in the conflict between Catholic and Protestant towns.
With the most intensity during the Spanish inquisition, the Spanish Catholic church viewed the practice of guessing assumptions about a data set empirically to be closely associated with the remaining Muslim and Jewish inhabitants. In an attempt to regain their identity as a Catholic nation, post-Reconquista, all statistitians found practicing histomancy were asked to confess to their crimes and convert to more pure methods. Those who refused to give up their old heretical ways were burned alive for their sins.
Despite America’s puritan roots, who considered the act of Histomancy associated with the occult, there is a strong Histomanic tradition that was widely accepted by mainstream statisticians in the mid to late 19th century. Ever since, the Empirical pride movement has spread far and wide around the world. The practice is even now taught by the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Even though they had to abandon the strict rule against it for Utah to gain Statehood.
After all the progress, the official catholic stance remains that it is an impure practice. Even if Pope Francis and the catholic establishment truly believe the practice of Histomancy is so unredeemable sinful, it’s no excuse for the Pope’s refusal to acknowledge and apologize for the history of hate. Maybe they’ll never apologize, maybe they still think it’s okay to look down on people who are so lazy that they pick likelihood functions just by looking at the data.
If you enjoyed this article please like, share, and subscribe with your email, our twitter handle (@JABDE6), or our facebook group here for weekly content. You should also check out Richard McElreath‘s Statistical Rethinking A Bayesian Course with Examples in R and Stan where this joke originated, because it’s a great book where you learn a lot with a very similar sense of humor.