This book tells how quantitative ideas of chance have transformed the natural and social sciences as well as everyday life over the past three centuries. A continuous narrative connects the earliest application of probability and statistics in gambling and insurance to the most recent forays into law, medicine, polling, and baseball. Separate chapters explore the theoretical and methodological impact on biology, physics, and psychology. In contrast to the literature on the mathematical development of probability and statistics, this book centers on how these technical innovations recreated our conceptions of nature, mind, and society.
'The book provides a welcome introduction to the main historical themes of probability, statistics and inference. It is, at the same time, impressive in its range and subject-matter and in its depth of analysis.' The Times Higher Education Supplement