Take another example: physicist Werner Heisenberg and statistician R.A. Fisher were contemporaries, both publishing important work in the 1920s. Yet, Heisenberg's breakthroughs seem outlandishly more advanced than Fisher's.
Physics and mechanics were studies of how God made things work. Randomness is incompatible with God’s will. Newton, Leibniz, even Laplace (“I have no need for that hypothesis”) were quite religious men trying to uncover the fundamental rules of the universe. Statistics is sort of anti-rules discipline, since randomness (pre-quantum physics, say 1930) is not part of the structure of the universe… it’s part of our failed powers of observation and measurement. Gauss realized this and developed least squares techniques, but unless you think “God plays dice,” the theory of statistics was always going to lag physics and mechanics.
R McElreath says:
There’s some history of the perceived conflict between chance and reason in Gigerenzer et al’s “The Empire of Chance”.
Quick version of the argument: The Greeks and Romans had the dueling personifications of Athena/Minerva (Wisdom) and Tyche/Fortuna (Chance). Minerva was the patron of reason and science, while Fortuna was capricious and even malicious. Getting scholars to see Fortune as a route to Wisdom was perhaps very hard, due to these personifications.
As Ignatius J. Reilly says in A Confederacy of Dunces:
“Oh Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, I am strapped to your wheel. Do not crush me beneath your spokes. Raise me on high, divinity.”