Lies, damn lies and statistics

The Palestinians have for years threatened Israel with a population bomb — except recent accurate counts showed that their numbers are grossly inflated.  For years, America has been chastised for its high infant mortality rate — except it turns out that other nations report lower numbers because they don’t count babies who are fragile at birth in their mortality statistics, while America does.  And of course, The Lancet lied about the number of casualties following the U.S. invasion in Iraq.

It turns out now that England is less gay and more Christian than has been advertised.  I’m not surprised about the former.  I’ve known for many years that the “10% of the population is gay” number came from Kinsey, and that Kinsey and his researchers fluffed the numbers, because they were themselves gay or bisexual and wanted to feel more mainstream.

I’m not going anywhere with these new facts and figures out of England.  I’m just reminding us all that we have to be very careful when relying on purported statistics.

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  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    On a related note: I’ve always thought that the folks using “statistics” to prove their point often miss the real point.  For example, many claim that since they (gay, black, whatever minority, etc) are 10% (or whatever) of the population they deserve such and such.  I’ve always countered that if they deserve such and such then they deserve it, regardless of whether they are 10%, 100% or less than .00001%. 

  • SADIE

    Add ‘surveys’ to the list. Skewed questions designed to get desired results.

  • MacG

    It is my understanding hte the Kinsey report has had a great effect of the “stats” regarding ‘normal” sexuality except he used subjects like prisoners for the “research” and thus the inflated numbers on homosexual activity etc.

  • Gringo

    All I remember is that 9 out of 10 doctors prefer Anacin. Or was that 9 out of 10 doctors smoke Camels. How about this: 10 out of 10 doctors took Anatomy.

    http://chroniclesofahitman.blogspot.com/2008/01/9-out-of-10-doctors-smoke-camels.html

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/21904.php

  • Tonestaple

    Don’t forget the endlessly inflating number of Muslims in the US.  Last year, the number usually tossed around, and probably grossly inflated, was 6 million.  Suddenly, this year it’s 7 million.  Do we have a 1MM per year annual increase to look forward to?