WND Double Dips the Wingnut Math

WND Double Dips the Wingnut Math October 2, 2012

The Worldnutdaily has not one but two articles pulling some awesome stats from their rectal area purporting to prove that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery. Professional lunatic Christopher Monckton does a column about it, but the WND then publishes a simultaneous article about that column. And you’re going to love this argument. He claims that the odds of the birth certificate being real are 1 in 62.5 quintillion. Here’s how he reaches that number:

Registrar’s signature-stamp all on one electronic layer, allowing it to be moved about in the data-file: 100:1 against. This is actually impossible, but it’s Be Nice to Soetoro Week. Registrar’s date-stamp ditto: 100:1 (again, in truth impossible).

Multiple 1-bit monochrome layers and one 8-bit color layer: 60:1. Experts twice found no such pattern in 600 file-optimization programs: I allow for 10 anomalous programs to exist.

Lavishly funded bureaucracy uses wonky typewriter: 10:1.

Human error: Certificate number out of sequence 25:1; incorrect birth date of father 40:1; use of “African” contrary to written form-filling rules and 20 years before the term came into common use 25:1; miscoded statistical data 25:1 (official government estimate).

White halo around letters 10:1; chromatic aberration absent 100:1 (actually impossible).

Other identity documents: Anomalously worded abstract on short-form birth certificate 100:1; two-digit year on selective service stamp against DoD written rules 100:1 (actually impossible: no two-digit example other than that of Kenya’s “son of the soil” is known); non-citizen of Connecticut holds CT Social Security Number 100:1…

But here’s where the math comes in. If each error is a genuine accident, the errors are independent events, so the probabilities of each error are multiplied together to determine the probability that all occurred in one document.

Thus the odds against all of these errors occurring in a single document except by design are 1 in 100 x 100 x 10 x 10 x 25 x 40 x 25 x 25 x 10 x 100 x 100 x 100 x 100.

Accordingly, the probability that Mr. Obama’s birth narrative is in substance true is no better than 1 in 62,500,000,000,000,000,000, or 0.0000000000000000000016. That probability is what we mathematicians describe as “vanishingly different from zero.”

It’s kind of cute how he pulls these numbers out of thin air, then combines them all together as though they mean something. In reality, of course, all of those “errors” were debunked long ago by people who actually understand how scanning and PDF documents work. But pile all that bullshit in a box and wrap it up in paper with really big numbers on it and you’ve got a perfect birthday present for morons.

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