Statistics and the Synoptic Problem

Statistics tell us… well, even though they are numbers, statistics do not automatically provide answers to questions. And 73.2% of all statistics are made up on the spot – as that one was. But sometimes statistics can tell us something important. They can quantify what otherwise may seem vague and merely impressionistic. I regularly cite [Read More...]

Data Collection Fail, Money Collection Win

This image came to my attention via God on Facebook. It features a homeless man with a sign that asks “Which religion cares the most about the homeless?” And then multiple receptacles for money labeled with different religious identities. This doesn't work as a way of demonstrating something. Is the photo a set up or [Read More...]

Shootings: Schools vs. Churches

This graphic which came my way on Facebook seems to make an excellent point. I was not able to confirm that the actual number of shootings in schools was 5, and it seems that that number may include institutions of higher education as well as elementary schools. Whether any religious schools are in that figure [Read More...]

Evolution and Homicide: A Better Graph

A commenter on this blog, K. L. Onthank, saw some of the problems with the graph I posted previously, comparing acceptance of evolution and homicide rates, and decided to rectify the problem. Here is the chart they kindly came up with and shared! The increased accuracy is worth the price of having Americans who see [Read More...]

The Best Footnote Ever, In The Best Introduction Ever?

HT Marc Cortez UPDATE: The book in question is Stats: Modeling the World (or perhaps the first edition, which was called Stats: data and models, which included the same footnote) written by David E. Bock, Paul F. Velleman, and Richard D. De Veaux. [Read more...]