The Waves and the Sigmas
(To Say Nothing of the 750GeV Mirage)1
This paper shows how
p-values do not only create, as well known,
wrong expectations in the case of
flukes, but they might also dramatically diminish
the `significance' of most likely genuine signals.
As real life examples, the 2015 first detections
of gravitational waves are discussed.
The March 2016 statement of the
American Statistical Association, warning
scientists about interpretation and misuse of p-values,
is also reminded and commented. (The paper
is complemented with some remarks on past,
recent and future claims of discoveries based
on sigmas from Particles Physics.)