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Old 03-02-2010, 04:21 PM   #1
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Science and Statistics vs Lies and Manipulation

http://www.amazon.com/How-Lie-Statis.../dp/039309426X
http://books.google.com/books?id=TBh...%20lie&f=false
http://www.truthinjustice.org/junk.htm

talk of the economy got me thinking about how in politics science, stats, and studies are often manipulated(or down right lied about) to support an agenda.

not to begin a political rant, but i would like to hear your experiences w/ this type of thing. your "story" does NOT have to be political. i could site example after example proving science/stat manipulation but i'll start w/ a simple baseball illustration...

there's a guy who claims to have studied Babe Ruth's fly outs--ALL of them! he suggested that a great many of them would have been home runs in today's shorter ball parks. in fact, he estimates the Babe would have reached well over a thousand of them, making his record untouchable.

the guy is VERY credible, and of course, his story is believable, even w/out watching endless hours of b-ball footage. here's my take...

how do baseball(the actual ball)compounds compare today vs then?
how do pitchers talent compare?
when were spit balls outlawed?
what affect would rule changes have?
what of the strike zone? how much has it changed?
what of today's better lighting(night games)?
performance enhancing(legal and otherwise)?

my point is...stats, science, studies...even the best computer will never actually prove ANYTHING in this regard. one's best decision of a given view is a combo of study and experience.
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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When I was doing my master's degree, I did a regression model of gas prices vs. crude oil prices. Nothing very extreme, but doing the analysis gave me a lot of insight about where gasoline prices in general.

Only a month after I did the analysis, a guy on the radio was ranting that the price of gas was not supported by the price of oil (this was as the price was starting to climb drastically). So I wrote him an email during his show, and enlightened him about my analysis.

Interestingly enough, he read my email on the air, then he stopped quoting his statistics (which were quite different than mine, and turned out to be generated by some journalist with no real analytical background) and just let people rant about gas prices for the rest of the program.

On the other hand, I've been trying to get statistics on global warming for a long time, and I can't come up with anything - with the huge amount of pressure behind this agenda, you'd think the "facts" would be readily available.

- BC
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:57 PM   #3
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thanks bob, that's what i'm talking about and looking for...

said this before, but i question the statement "supported" by science that "flying is safer than driving."

ok, what are one's chances of surviving a crash in each vehicle?
what of defensive driving?
what about high speed (complete)engine failure(s)?
compare a mid air collision vs a 2 car collision--what is that survival rate?
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieguy View Post
thanks bob, that's what i'm talking about and looking for...

said this before, but i question the statement "supported" by science that "flying is safer than driving."

ok, what are one's chances of surviving a crash in each vehicle?
what of defensive driving?
what about high speed (complete)engine failure(s)?
compare a mid air collision vs a 2 car collision--what is that survival rate?
That assertion, IIRC, is based on passenger miles traveled, i.e. the number of people killed per million passenger miles traveled is lower by air than by automobile.

One may be more likely to survive a crash in a car, but one is more likely to be in a crash in a car than on an airplane.

Most of your examples, I believe, fall into the "apples and oranges" category.

As for science and statistics, isn't that what this website is all about...experimentation, observation, sharing the results and others attempting to replicate said results?
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:01 AM   #5
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ok how about car VS train VS airplane on safest way to travel? haha i vote train.

anyways yea any data can be twisted and tweaked to support one side or the other...
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:33 AM   #6
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i vote train.
Hmm...trains are pretty robust:


I guess they're not impervious, though.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:40 AM   #7
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As for science and statistics, isn't that what this website is all about...experimentation, observation, sharing the results and others attempting to replicate said results?
exactly the point of this thread. often time, life's experiences show that stats and science cannot prove or disprove everything.

i understand your "apples and oranges" thought, but i did not originate the car/plane comparison. miles traveled? well, that's like saying one is more likely to suffer a violent crime in NY city than in colorado springs, colorado. it's the foregone conclusion if you will.

i would "scientifically" look at TIME traveled and congestion in air vs road. i live in florida, so i'm less likely to suffer from frostbite than most.
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Old 06-21-2010, 02:39 PM   #8
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saw a report on the web stating that sharks were being forced close to shore in the gulf 'cause of the oil spill. anyway it reminded me of the intellectual knucklehead stat claiming that one is more likely to be struck by lightening than bitten by a shark. REALLY?! ya think?

well, if just as many people were in the water(and not just waste deep) as were outside during lightning storms...well, ya know.
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Old 06-21-2010, 03:39 PM   #9
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thanks bob, that's what i'm talking about and looking for...

said this before, but i question the statement "supported" by science that "flying is safer than driving."

ok, what are one's chances of surviving a crash in each vehicle?
what of defensive driving?
what about high speed (complete)engine failure(s)?
compare a mid air collision vs a 2 car collision--what is that survival rate?
If its any help in your search I've survived the crashing "trifecta".
Car
Motorcycle
Aircraft

I didn't walk away from them but I lived.

Jim
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Old 06-21-2010, 09:23 PM   #10
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see i still say train, this is like rock vs paper and train can smash car and plane.

if the locomotive engines die it slows to a stop or still has brakes, its on a track so it can only go a set path. modern signals and data collection systems can warn other trains to stop if ones out of control, can remotely guide it in event engineer dies. (switch it to different locations)

each car has brakes that lock up and lock up hard incase they become disconnected.

thier huge about the only thing that can stop a train is another train or a bridge thats out haha

ive only been in a car wreck and could have walked away from that but had a chunk of glass in my lip (i was like 4)
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