Guest Blog Post From Dr. Frederic Whitehurst PhD JD: Cry Foul. Cry Foul. The Statistician Approaches

Cry Foul. Cry Foul. The Statistician Approaches-An Original Poem by Dr. Frederic Whitehurst

By:  Frederic Whitehurst, J.D., Ph.D. [1]

Cry Foul, Cry Foul
The Statistician Approaches

Young maidens lift not your eyes
To gaze upon the Gaussian Wizard
Lest your notions of the perfections
of God’s universe
Be dashed upon the rocks of the
Realization that perfection is but
Knowledge of error

Cry Foul!, Cry Foul!
The Statistician Approaches

Mothers, gather your issue
Secure ‘gainst your petticoats
Shutter your windows and
Bar your doors, set great fires
To warm you broods
against rain drops of precision
And snow storms of accuracy

Cry Foul!!, Cry Foul!!
The Statistician Approaches

To convince young students
of the healing arts that
an understanding of error
bars their paths to medical careers,
worthwhile pursuits hailed
by most as worthy
but denied to all who
can not master the Gaussian Wizard’s dark craft.

Cry Foul!!!, Cry Foul!!!
The Statistician Approaches

His black art the bane,
the confusion, of worthy men
But accepted without understanding by
crafty politicians, who quote blind
and misquote as water from founts
of salvation, to drive we ignorant serfs
to field and labor to avoid
the tragedies promised by the Gaussian Wizard.

Cry Foul!!!!, Cry Foul!!!!
The Statistician Approaches

To suggest slyly that
we not lie peacefully upon
our feathered beds nor
breath easily the sweet night airs
Lest the probability, though ever so slight,
of earthquakes and sulfuric volcanic air
will attain and loose the very foundations
of our abodes and poison our dreams.

Cry Foul!!!!!, Cry Foul!!!!!
The Statistician Approaches

Unlike Saul who was blind
and as Paul saw again
The Gaussian Wizard crafts
our world with such fantasies of
standard deviations and skewed
distributions that
the blessings of God are
mistaken for Satan’s joys
and, after all his probabilities,
are upon us in the black sightless world.

Cry Foul!!!!!!, Cry Foul!!!!!!
The Statistician Approaches

Who no gallows are
high enough to suck out
the vial Wizard’s life
Lest upon his last breath
his student will pose the
possibility – nay, probability
that the Wizard still lives
And thus give life again
to his insanity.

Cry Foul, Cry Foul
The Statistician Approaches…Or Not!!!!

Written to commemorate my dear angel’s wringing of hands and sad lamentations upon her study of statistics.

Dr. Frederic Whitehurst
No Statistician He
March, 2010


[1] Executive Director, Forensic Justice Project, Washington, D.C., B.S. Chemistry, 1974, East Carolina University, Ph.D. in Chemistry, 1980, Duke University, J.D., 1996, Georgetown University School of Law. (202)342-6980.

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