I recently bumped into this 2013 paper by Christian Robert and myself, “‘Not Only Defended But Also Applied’: The Perceived Absurdity of Bayesian Inference,” which begins:
Younger readers of this journal may not be fully aware of the passionate battles over Bayesian inference among statisticians in the last half of the twentieth century. During this period, the missionary zeal of many Bayesians was matched, in the other direction, by a view among some theoreticians that Bayesian methods are absurd—not merely misguided but obviously wrong in principle. Such anti-Bayesianism could hardly be maintained in the present era, given the many recent practical successes of Bayesian methods. But by examining the historical background of these beliefs, we may gain some insight into the statistical debates of today. . . .
The whole article is just great. I love reading my old stuff!
Also we were lucky to get several thoughtful discussions:
“Bayesian Inference: The Rodney Dangerfield of Statistics?” — Steve Stigler
“Bayesian Ideas Reemerged in the 1950s” — Steve Fienberg
“Bayesian Statistics in the Twenty First Century” — Wes Johnson
And our rejoinder, “The Anti-Bayesian Moment and Its Passing.”