(GENEVA – AP) Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN announced today that chi-square tests accelerated to 99% of the speed of light and then smashed into one another decompose into constituent F-statistics and a previously unknown test they’ve named the SCiP. The collision also released 5 megatons of ANOVA.
“It’s revolutionary,” said team leader Anderson Darling. “We’ve known about Multiple Linear Regression for years, but the possibility of its anti-test – the Single Circular Progression, or SCiP – was first proposed only five years ago at our annual conference, after a Greek statistician couldn’t get his car off the L.A. freeway and missed his talk. I guess those guys can’t merge right? When he got back to the hotel we thought he was trying to explain how he ran out of gas. Turns out he was having his Nobel moment.”
The power of SCiP, Darling says, lies in its capacity to use its endless loops to connect any configuration of data points with zero error. ”It’s like when a three-year old scribbles with a crayon on a piece of paper and then tells you it’s an elephant,” Darling says, “except on a much larger scale. SCiP’s an uncertainty sponge. It can explain anything – and everything. Even what I’m saying to you now.”
Darling has turned responsibility for analyzing the data from SCiP to Mai Lu (soon to be Mai Darling), a graduate student at CERN who hopes the finding will restore the field’s sullied reputation.
“Particle statistics has been a backwater since 1908,” she explains, when a brewery foreman named Theodore Student claimed to have discovered the “t-test” in a vat of Guinness. The Editor of The British Journal of Particle Statistics & Whatnot took the bait and published a doctored photograph “proving” the test’s existence, although “we now know that you can see anything you want in a head of Guinness,” says Lu. The editor was forced to resign in disgrace when the t-test turned out to be a St. Patrick’s day marketing ploy. The ad campaign’s tag line can still be heard in bars around the world whenever it’s time for another round: “well, looks like we’re going to have to re-run the data.”
“Many people still haven’t gotten the memo,” Darling says, “but the t-test was a hoax. What’s worse, it’s become a gateway statistic to pure maths. It’s not funny. Seriously, those people are out of their minds.”
Since 1908 the field of particle statistics has languished. The Journal shuttered soon after the beer scandal, and rebooted only recently as Happenstance - under the editorial control of Tina Brown.
Darling expects SCiP to turn the tide. ”Right now it’s just a ‘flash of insight,’ if you will. We need to get it to last longer than 200 nanoseconds,” he says. ”If we can get it up to two minutes, we’ll achieve the Holy Grail of statistics, the Statistic Of F**king Anything,” or SOFA.
If so, this would resolve the eternal status competition between statistics and physics, which have long vied for top-dog status in the hard sciences. “If SCiP is really the SOFA we think it is, it’s better than TOE,” Darling says, referring to the unification of the four forces of nature referred to as the Theory of Everything, or TOE, in theoretical physics.
“We’ll be able to give anybody any result using any data at any time. As they have grant money to use the LHC. Social science, economics, psychology, physics – it really doesn’t matter what field you work in. You’ll never have to run another experiment again, because we’ll already have your results. Plus we’ll have disproven the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Can’t you just smell the tenure?”
Lu adds that SCiP may have another benefit. “We’ll have more ANOVA than we’ll know what to do with. Soon we’ll be producing enough to cut your average statistician’s workweek down by 50%, or five hours.”
Now that’s something we can all drink to.