D. J. Bartholomew
Born6 August 1931
Died16 October 2017
Occupation(s)Statistician, writer

David John Bartholomew FBA (6 August 1931 – 16 October 2017) was a British statistician who was president of the Royal Statistical Society between 1993 and 1995.[1] He was professor of statistics at the London School of Economics between 1973 and 1996.[2]


Bartholomew was born 6 August 1931, the son of Albert and Joyce Bartholomew in Oakley, Bedfordshire.[2][3] He was educated at Bedford Modern School[4] and University College London, where he earned his BSc and PhD.[1]

Bartholomew began his career as a scientist at the National Coal Board in 1955.[2] In 1957 he became a lecturer in statistics at the University of Keele,[2] before his appointment as a senior lecturer at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth.[2]

Bartholomew was appointed professor of statistics at the University of Kent in 1967[2] before being made professor of statistics at the London School of Economics in 1973, a position he held until 1996. He was emeritus professor (pro-director) between 1988 and 1991.[2]

Bartholomew was president of the Royal Statistical Society, 1993–95 (honorary secretary, 1976–82; treasurer, 1989–93).[2] He was vice-president of the Manpower Society (1987–95)[2] and was chairman of the Science and Religion Forum between 1997 and 2000.[2]

In 1955, Bartholomew married Marian Elsie Lake, and they have two daughters.[5] Bartholomew was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1987.[2]

Religious views

Bartholomew authored several books defending the existence of the Christian God from a Biblical and statistical basis, God of Chance (1984), Uncertain Belief: Is It Rational to Be a Christian? (1996) and God, Chance and Purpose (2008).[6][7][8]

In his 1984 book God of Chance, Bartholomew argued that the universe is "designed in such a way that chance had a role to play... Chance was God's idea and... he uses it to ensure the variety, resilience and freedom necessary to achieve his purposes."[9] Similarly, his 2008 book God, Chance and Purpose argues that chance is part of the means by which God governs the world.[10]

Bartholomew debated atheist physicist Victor Stenger on whether or not God is a failed hypothesis.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Who Was Who, Published by A&C Black Limited, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014; online edn, April 2014
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Bartholomew, Prof. David John, (6 Aug. 1931–16 Oct. 2017), Professor of Statistics, London School of Economics, 1973–96, then Emeritus (Pro-Director, 1988–91)". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U6689. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4.
  3. ^ Royal Statistical Society, Obituary, David John Bartholomew, 1931-2007, J. R. Statist. Soc. A (2018), 181, Part 3, pp. 907–914
  4. ^ Bedford Modern School of the Black And Red, Andrew Underwood 1981; updated 2010
  5. ^ BARTHOLOMEW, Prof. David John’, Who's Who 2009, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2008 accessed 18 August 2009
  6. ^ MacKay, D. M. (1985). "Reviewed Work: God of Chance by D. J. Bartholomew". Religious Studies. 21 (4): 622–624. doi:10.1017/S0034412500017959. S2CID 170862329.
  7. ^ Jordan, Jeff (1998). "Reviewed Work: Uncertain Belief: Is It Rational to Be a Christian? by David Bartholomew". The Journal of Religion. 78 (4): 643–644. doi:10.1086/490321.
  8. ^ Mawson, T. J. (2009). "Reviewed Work: God, Chance and Purpose, Can God Have It Both Ways? by David J. Bartholomew". Philosophy. 84 (328): 299–302. doi:10.1017/S0031819109000254.
  9. ^ Rolston III, Holmes (1989). "God of Chance by D. J. Bartholomew" (PDF). Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science. 24: 109–115.
  10. ^ Wright, Terry J. (2009). "God, Chance and Purpose: Can God Have It Both Ways? By David J. Bartholomew". The Heythrop Journal. 50 (3): 542–543. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2265.2009.00484_30.x.