Statistics (Can) Lie (If You Want Them To)

It’s really nice when you get an opportunity to stop, step back, take stock, and really admire the way satire can point out how easy it is to (mis/ab)use statistics: Voting Democrat Causes Cancer.

The real humor I find in the whole thing, is the way this is overtly presented as a direct corollary to claims by Democrats advocating Health Care reform, with out any apparent consideration that this is the sort of thing lots of different groups do to add legitimacy to their position(s).

Like Climate change deniers … just to pick an example off the top of my head.

Tags: climate change, politics, statistics.

3 Responses to “Statistics (Can) Lie (If You Want Them To)”

  1. shcb Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, of course every snake oil salesman has to have someone who believes snake oil will cure what ails them. You probably didn’t read my last post on the last thread. In a nut shell the global warming ministers are telling the faithful that since the five and eleven year running averages are higher in ’05 than ’98 the temperatures were higher in ’05. The faithful, even the high priest of is buying it. The running averages are higher in ’05 because, well, they are, the highest temps were in ’98 because, well, they were. The two are exclusive of each other, but when you are a true believer love and trust are blind.

    Since we are discussing selective statistics did you know that using a 5 and 11 year running average that isn’t inflated (UAH data), or is at least conducive to my argument, there was cooling from about 1982 to 1997 or so. Now if you just add a quarter degree to everything you get warming through that whole period. It is one thing to use selective statistics but to then inflate those selective statistics is well, really, really good for the medicine show industry.

  2. shcb Says:

    I should mention there wasn’t cooling in those years, minus 1998 there was a very slight warming, with ’98 there was more significant warming, but the running averages show there was cooling.

  3. leftbehind Says:

    Voting Democrat doesn’t cause Cancer, and a year into the Obama presidency, we can clearly see it doesn’t cause much of anything else to happen either…

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