Category Archive 'Lies Damned Lies and Statistics'

03 Nov 2015

Arguing for Socialism with Statistics

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StatisticsStore

Bookworm explains how the standard leftwing arguments for socialized heathcare featuring negative comparisons of the United States with allegedly superior and more enlightened other countries rest upon statistics which dissolve like fairy gold upon examination.

It all began when my son expressed dismay at data from his AP Environmental Science text-book:

    In 1900 the U.S. infant mortality rate was 165. In 2011 it was 6.1. This sharp decline was a major factor in the marked increase in U.S. average life expectancy during this period. The United States ranks first in the world in terms of health care spending per person, but 54th in terms of infant mortality rates.

(G. Miller, Scott Spoolman, Environmental Science, p. 100.)

My son didn’t want to believe that America, which he thinks is a great country, could rank so low in something as basic as infant mortality. As it happens, I knew that those numbers were wrong, so I immediately spoke up. I got as far as saying “Those numbers are wro…” when a far-Left physician in the room literally shouted me down.

“This is not political. We don’t need to hear any of that right-wing crap. You’re going to turn this in a political argument. This is science.” The other guests looked stunned.

I tried again. “I’m not talking politics. This is about statistics. You need to know that….”

Again, the Leftie physician cut me off. “Little Bookworm, don’t listen to her. She’s just going to go on with her political crap. The problem is with the U.S. medical system.”

I tried again. “Let me finish. This is a statistical problem.”

Leftie cut me off again. “No, don’t go there.”

I ignored him and went there anyway. “Stop!!!” I hollered at the top of my lungs. The room fell completely silent. I finally had my say.

“The problem with any analysis that ranks the U.S. so low when it comes to infant mortality is that different countries have different ways of determining what’s a ‘live birth’ for purposes of calculating infant mortality statistics. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that counts any baby born alive, no matter how fragile it is, as a living baby for infant mortality purposes.

“In other countries, such as Korea or places in Europe, they only count babies that are a certain size or weight as ‘live births.’ Comparing U.S. numbers with other countries’ numbers is an apples and oranges comparison unless you adjust for the differing baseline of what constitutes a live birth. The study cited in the book is garbage in-garbage out.”

Read the whole thing.

22 Sep 2015

Worse Than Berlin in 1945

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damsel-in-distress1
A typical male-female relationship at Yale today.

The Association of American Universities (AAU), a nationally recognized research organization, arranged last Spring to have a Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct taken by undergraduate and graduate and professional students at 27 colleges and universities.

pdf

The results at Yale were more spectacular than merely impressive. The survey’s results apparently demonstrate that “By senior year, 34.6 percent of female undergraduates reported experiencing nonconsensual penetration or sexual touching by force or incapacitation.” These are sexual assaults that meet criminal standards.

“Among female undergraduates, 28.1 percent experienced this type of assault since entering Yale University and 14.3 percent experienced this type of assault during the current school year.”

When the Russian Army took Berlin in 1945, “[a]t least 100,000 women are believed to have been raped” (Wikipedia) out of a population of 2,000,000 women.

So roughly 5% of German women were successfully sexually assaulted in 1945 by a hostile invading army of primitives bent upon revenge, while in 2015 at Yale almost three times as many (14.3% ) of the young ladies suffer the same fate worse than death. Goodness gracious!

YaleSexualAssault

27 May 2014

The 97% Myth

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ScientificMethod

In the Wall Street Journal, Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer look at the evidence, and find that the oft-repeated claim that “97% of climate scientists” subscribe to a belief in Catastrophist Anthropogenic Warmism is just as empty a claim as the newspaper headlines about melting glacier and Polar icecaps.

Last week Secretary of State John Kerry warned graduating students at Boston College of the “crippling consequences” of climate change. “Ninety-seven percent of the world’s scientists,” he added, “tell us this is urgent.”

Where did Mr. Kerry get the 97% figure? Perhaps from his boss, President Obama, who tweeted on May 16 that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” Or maybe from NASA, which posted (in more measured language) on its website, “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities.”

Yet the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.

One frequently cited source for the consensus is a 2004 opinion essay published in Science magazine by Naomi Oreskes, a science historian now at Harvard. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles published in scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years while none directly dissented.

Ms. Oreskes’s definition of consensus covered “man-made” but left out “dangerous”—and scores of articles by prominent scientists such as Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels, who question the consensus, were excluded. The methodology is also flawed. A study published earlier this year in Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren’t substantiated in the papers.

Read the whole thing.

04 Apr 2009

Getting Ready to Steal the Census

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Matthew Vadum, at American Spectator, notes that Barack Obama has selected as Director of the Census the most partisan possible figure, a leftwing sociologist previously involved in democrat efforts to supplement real enumeration with creative estimates of supposedly uncountable homeless and minority democrat voters.

A practitioner of the statistical voodoo known as “sampling” has been selected by President Obama to head the Census Bureau, which is poised to carry out the decennial census next year with ACORN’s help. Liberal pressure groups and Democrats have long favored using statistical modeling, a practice controversial because it’s flagrantly unconstitutional and because it opens up the counting process to political manipulation.

“A sampling process would open the census to the worst kind of political manipulation,” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) recently said. “The Constitution clearly requires a count of every person, not a best guess that could be influenced by political rather than empirical considerations.”

The president’s nominee is Robert M. Groves, a professor of the alleged discipline known as sociology at the University of Michigan.

Republican lawmakers are justifiably alarmed, the New York Times reports.

Some news agency story.


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