Understanding statistics and numerical data is important and useful if having accurate beliefs is one of your goals. So listen up!
This is not a podcast about the mathematical side of statistics, so there is no discussion of p-values, Weibull distributions, or lift charts. Rather, we look at some of the ways people can be mislead by statistics and numerical data.
- Peter LaBarbera, of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, says gays should take responsibility for abuse in the Catholic church. We disrespectfully disagree.
- Coincidences (see commentary on Lincoln-Kennedy connections by Snopes.com)
- Being misled by statistics and numerical data. Read more:
- Missing denominators when considering seat belt usage in motor vehicle deaths (actual data from California on pg. 21).
- Confounding factors when you investigate drugs to treat high blood pressure.
- The survivor/selection bias when looking at the health of former astronauts in light of the health risks of going to space.
- Comparing death rates in New York City and Iraq.
- The Atheist Alliance of America national convention in 2013: August 30 – September 2 in Boston.
If you liked this topic, there are lots of great resources to learn more. Check out the following books:
- Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception
- How to Lie With Statistics
- Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences