24 Nov 2013

10 reasons not to use statistics as evidence

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain or Benjamin Disraeli (Contestability)

Warning, do not read if you are a statistician. 

#1. 100% of all people who drink water die. Therefore, water is poisonous. (Definition of a poisonous substance is "causing or capable of causing death or illness if taken into the body")

#2. 100% of all male platypus are semi-aquatic, this means they partially live in water. Male platypuses are born with a venomous spur. Water is indeed poisonous and is capable of making you venomous. 

Creative Common by Leo (0ystercatcher)
#3. 100% of all mass murders consumed water within three days before killing someone and 100% of people who start fights consume within three days of starting a fight. Therefore, water makes you violent. 

#4. 100% of all tsunami are made of water. Water is indeed violent.

#5. 100% of cane toads drink water, adult cane toads are dangerous because they are toxic. Therefore, water is also capable of making you toxic and dangerous.

Creative Common by Ken-ichi Ueda

#6. 100% of living people breathe air, more than 99.999% of them have not gone more than 22 minutes1 without receiving fresh air. Therefore, air is addictive. 

#7. 100% of air contains water vapour which is poisonous and dangerous. Therefore, air is a poisonous, dangerous and addictive.

#8. 100% of all hydrated food contains water. Therefore, food is dangerous and poisonous. 

#9. 100% of all food is in the presence of air. Therefore food is also addictive.

#10. More than 99.999% of all people have not gone more than 94 days1 without food. This proves food is addictive. 

One hundred per cent of all bloggers drink water, breathe air and eat food. Therefore, I am a dangerous, violent, air-addict and you should dismiss my theories as false. 

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