97.54% of political season statistics are false & can’t be supported
87.65% of the time statistics are only used to fuel a confrontation
75% of the people polled believe that statistics that written are more likely to be true. 87% of the people polled doubt statistics that aren’t
68% US citizens won’t participate in a telephone poll event unless they are getting paid for the time and information they provide the pollster.
- Rats destroy an estimated 33% of the worlds food supply each year.
- The Mall in Washington D.C. is 1.4 times larger than Vatican City
- You have a greater chance of being hit by falling airplane parts than by being attacked by a shark.
- 90% of New York cabbies are newly arrived immigrants.
- American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class.
- A sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100mph and can kill a fly.
- Statistics are available for just about any subject. Most of the times statistics are intended to fuel the public opinion about something that is either political
OK – let me clear something up right now. I made up the graph and the first four statistics and the other statistics came from a joke website.
What is the point of this? To make us all think. To make us consider the power of the statistics we are reading and to consider the source of the statistics.
While writing this post I found this question on answers.yahoo.com: “Is there a way to verify statistics given from a website?”
One of the responses asked this follow up question “[….] Are there any government sites that would validate this statistic.”
This is so typical. We are led to believe that our governments (National, State, Local) will provide us with real and honest statistics. 50% of us believe this may or may not be true (OK – I made this up too)
- There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881)
- USA Today has come out with a new survey – apparently, three out of every four people make up 75% of the population. David Letterman
- Statistician: A man who believes figures don’t lie but admits that under analysis some of them won’t stand up either. Evan Esar
- Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions. Evan Esar
- Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics. Fletcher Knebel
- A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic. Joseph Stalin
- There are two kinds of statistics, those you look up and those you makeup – Rex Stout
- Torture numbers and they’ll confess to anything. ~Gregg Easterbrook
- 98% of all statistics are made up. ~Author Unknown
- Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital. ~Aaron Levenstein
- Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable. ~Bobby Bragan, 1963
- Statistics can be made to prove anything – even the truth. ~Author Unknown
- Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off. ~Paul Brodeur, Outrageous Misconduct
- Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable. ~Author Unknown
- Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math. ~Author Unknown
- He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than for illumination. ~Andrew Lang
- One more fagot of these adamantine bandages is the new science of Statistics. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases. ~Theodor Billroth
- Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say. ~William W. Watt
- Then there is the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches. ~W.I.E. Gates
- There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up. ~Rex Stout, Death of a Doxy
- I always find that statistics are hard to swallow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable. ~Mrs. Robert A. Taft
- Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture…. ~H.G. Wells, The Undying Fire
- The average human has one breast and one testicle. ~Des McHale
- While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will be up to, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician. ~Arthur Conan Doyle
- A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions. ~M.J. Moroney
- Statistics may be defined as “a body of methods for making wise decisions in the face of uncertainty.” ~W.A. Wallis
- After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, “Lies – damned lies – and statistics,” still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of. ~Leonard Courtney, speech
- Statistics are just a way for the mathematician to evangelize his faith. ~Hunter Brinkmeier
- The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus. ~Laplace, Théorie analytique des probabilités, 1820
- I abhor averages. I like the individual case. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live. ~Louis D. Brandeis
- I could prove God statistically. Take the human body alone – the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity. ~George Gallup
In summary – Listen to statistics that are important to you – consider the source and if you find them hard to believe – try to validate them.
By the way – 75% of the people who read this entire blog post will wish that I wrote more.