Survivorship Bias

Francis Bacon, often crdited with the principle that beliefs must be grouded in observation, wrote of a man who was taken to a house of worship and shown a painting of sailors who had escaped shipwreck by paying thier holy vows. The man was asked whether this didn't prove the power of the gods. "Aye," he answered, "but where are they painted that were drowned after their vows?"

Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, p. 144

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