Bayesian Inference

In statistics, Bayesian inference is a method of inference in which Bayes' rule is used to update the probability estimate for a hypothesis as additional evidence is learned. Bayesian updating is an important technique throughout statistics, and especially in mathematical statistics: Exhibiting a Bayesian derivation for a statistical method automatically ensures that the method works as well as any competing method, for some cases. Bayesian updating is especially important in the dynamic analysis of a sequence of data. Bayesian inference has found application in a range of fields including science, engineering, medicine, and law. [wikipedia]


Bayesian inference derives the probability as a result of two antecedents, a prior probability and a "likelihood function" derived from a probability model for the data to be observed. Bayesian inference computes the posterior probability according this equation:





  • | means Given
  • H any hypothesis whose probability may be affected by data
  • E data that were not used in computing the prior probability
  • P(H) the prior probability, is the probability of H before E is observed
  • P(H|E) the posterior probability, is the probability of H given E, i.e., after E is observed
  • P(E|H) the probability of observing E given H, is also known as the likeP(E) the marginal likelihood or "model evidence".


P(H) is our new probability

P(H|E) is our starting point or prior probability

P(E|H) is the probability of our evidence or event: (0.5).

P(E) is our “likelihood function” which is: P(E|H1) * P(H1) + P(E|H2) * P(H2)


To make this work we need a starting point; one that should give the “anti” hypothesis greater weight. Since the DNA probabilities are the only indicators available; we shall start there. In our “Real World Probabilities of Extraterrestrials on Earth” paper we show the probability of ET being on Earth; at 7.1427 X 10-10 or 0.00000000071427.


Applying this to our equation:


Prior probability: 7.1427 X 10-10


New probability: 5.36261 X 10-18 from the DNA data 0.5 * 7.1427 X 10-10 / (7.1427 X 10-10 * 0.5) + (5.36261 X 10-18 * 0.5) = 0.9999999924292286


Thus the probability of Anthra being ET is 0.9999999924292286 or 1: 1.00000000757077


making it an almost “sure thing”, and making the probability of being Terrestrial: 0.00000000757077 or 1 in 132,086,960.77149.


While this is perhaps not the kind of “proof” many seem to want; it does serve to illustrate the Mathematical probabilities at play here.