Christian pseudohistorian David Barton used to be a math teacher. But at some point, he transitioned into teaching history, another subject he knew next to nothing about. Today, he goes around miseducating everyone he comes into contact with.
His inability to be a credible historian is well-documented to the point where a book he wrote was pulled from shelves by his Christian publishers for containing too many lies.
And earlier this month, Barton was shown telling a crowd that he speaks to more than 600 different groups a year… despite working all day long on his ranch during the summer.
But his inability to interpret statistics properly is now coming to light and every new example is just a delight to behold.
A few weeks ago, Right Wing Watch’s Kyle Mantyla gave us a clear example of Barton distorting some numbers…
Here’s what Barton said:
… if we’re going to change the direction of the nation and the way its headed, we have to change the way people think. It’s real simple.
This is a report that I just read that is kind of amazing: 96% of the faculty at the elite colleges donated to President Obama … Not just voted; 96% of faculty donated.
Mantyla explained what Barton got wrong:
You will be undoubtedly be surprised to learn that the report to which Barton referred found not that 96% of faculty donated to Obama but rather that 96% of the donations made by faculty and staff from the Ivy League schools went to the Obama campaign.
Major difference, don’t you think?
That brings us to Barton’s most recent bit of innumeracy.
On his radio show “Wallbuilders Live,” Barton attempted to explain that 75% of abortions are performed on girls who are 16 or younger:
Seventy-five percent of all abortions are performed on teenagers below the age of sixteen … Remember, one of the problems we have with abortion clinics is they do not report statutory rape, they do abortions instead. So a young girl comes in pregnant at eleven or twelve or thirteen, that’s supposed to be reported as statutory rape because it’s well below the age of consent but rather than reporting it, they simply do an abortion … You have seventy-five percent of all abortions being performed on teens who are sixteen and under.
It’s a lie so nice, he said it twice.
Again, Kyle Mantyla sheds light on the truth behind this claim, which originates from Family Research Council’s Marriage and Religion Research Institute.
The report did not find, as Barton asserted, that three-quarters of all abortions are done on women under the age of sixteen, but rather [that] almost three-quarters of women who have had abortions became sexually active at the age of sixteen or before.
Again, *huge° difference. And one that Barton didn’t make clear at all.
It makes you wonder if his reading skills are as good as his skills as a historian.
There are only two possibilities here: Either Barton understands the math and he’s spinning numbers to advance his own agenda, or he doesn’t understand the math at all and he’s trying to pretend that he does.
I don’t give him enough credit to pull off the former.
Barton is just masquerading as an “expert” when the reality is that he barely qualifies to take remedial classes in either subject.
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