Now alpha is point oh oh five

An In Our Labs editorial poem

The checking of the author list

Now alpha is point oh oh five

The Bayesian horde sweeps into town
With swelling ranks, new power found
Their horses dark and torches lit
They’ve come to read their Holy Writ

Townspeople gather nervously
To hear the Leader’s homily
What mandate will he here announce? 
What statistics must we soon renounce?

Will posteriors become the vogue
and users of p values, rogue?
Perhaps Bayes factor is the thing
Whose praises we will often sing…

The Leader steps up on the stage
He clears his throat, prepares his page
“Dear people: help, this day, arrives!
Now alpha is point oh oh five!”

Confusion breaks out in the throng
What game is this? Have we been wrong?
Have they not broadcast far and wide
That p’s the reason science died?

The Leader senses all their doubt
“Don’t fret,” he says, “we’ve worked it out!
If only Fisher’d not misplaced
a zero! Then it’d all be straight!”

“In no-time flat you’ll see we’ve patched
the crisis with this plan we’ve hatched
The cheaters never could have thrived
If alpha’d been point oh oh five!”

The crowd disperses in the night
What once was left is now the right
The Bayesians, they now control 
our alpha? How completely droll!

John Schmidt