27
Jul 04

On Scientists and Statistics

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 653 views

On Scientists and Statistics
 
“The Law of Large Numbers guarantees that one-in-a-million miracles happen 295 times a day in America”
 
Of course this is only true if you make some truly bizarre assumptions, like only one potential event with one in a million odds per person per day (given the US population of 295 million).  How on earth do they figure that out?
 
In fact later in the same article they attempt to quantify the volume of events, observing that “In the course of any normal person’s life, miracles happen at a rate of roughly one per month.”  Surely that would mean 10,000,000 one in a million miracles a day in America.
 
You’d think they’d be a little more careful when the New Scientist ran a major story on how poor most scientists are at statistics a couple of weks ago !!

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