left biblioblography: DOING THE MATH - YOU MAY BE A YOUNG EARTH CREATIONIST IF…

Friday, December 01, 2006

DOING THE MATH - YOU MAY BE A YOUNG EARTH CREATIONIST IF…

(Apologies to Jeff Foxworthy)

I was watching this hilarious video over at the Bacon Eating Atheist Jew’s blog, when something flashed by in the video (somewhere in the twenty minute mark), and I blinked.

Perhaps the most ridiculous use of statistics I’ve ever seen.

  1. Birth rates up 100% among unwed girls.
  2. Sexually transmitted diseases – Gonorrhea up 385%

Now, I’ll be happy to admit, that I did poorly at math in my formative years (and still am not too wonderful at it), but I can tell you, right off the bat, this is most assuredly NOT how one calculates percentiles.

Look at sentence number one. What does it say? By saying that birth rates are up 100% among unwed girls, this is effectively stating that every single unwed girl is pregnant.

Look at sentence number two. Gonorrhea up by 385%?!?

Being a writer, I’ll use the method of word count (prior to the days of the word processor) to illustrate the point.

In the bad old days, the way a writer calculated the word count was as such:
  1. You count the amount of words on three pages, selected at random

  2. You add the sum total of three pages

  3. You then divide by three

  4. You then take the word count average, and multiply it by the amount of pages, giving an approximate amount.

NOTE: This formula applies to estimating verbiage in a short story, novella, novel, etc. It is most emphatically NOT to be used in calculating demographic statistics. It was simply the easiest example to give. I could’ve left out D, but felt obliged to complete the formula.

Also, one must calculate the mean value:

"The simple mathematical average of a set of two or more numbers. The mean for a given set of numbers can be computed in more than one way, including the arithmetic mean method, which uses the sum of the numbers in the series, and the geometric mean method. However, all of the primary methods for computing a simple average of a normal number series produce the same approximate result most of the time.

Investopedia Says: If stock XYZ closed at $50, $51 and $54 over the past three days, the arithmetic mean would be the sum of those numbers divided by three, which is $51.67."

Also, it's necessary to calculate the median:

"median
In statistics, the middle value of a set of numbers or data points; half the figures will fall below the median and half above. (See average; compare mean and mode.)"

It becomes blaringly obvious (at least in the Gonorrhea stats), that Dr. Dufus is simply adding his percentiles until they show up as over 100 percent (if he’s even trying to do the math: I think he’s pulling most of this outta his ass, personally).

So, treat yourself to this bit of hysteria:

“Since that ruling in 1962 to remove prayer from school and later from all forms of government, pregnancies for school girls age 10 - 15 are up 553 percent, as are all high-school pregnancies; single parent families are up 140 percent; unmarried coupled living together are now up 536 percent. While prior to 1962 all these statistics remained relatively constant and were even declining.”

553 percent? You gotta be joshin’ me. 536 percent? Do these loons even KNOW how to apply statistics? Obviously not.

Nutshell: Anyone who ever quotes one hundred percent or MORE is a retard.














And that, dear readers, is my nickel's worth. Spend it wisely.

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17 comments:

remy said...

I just finished watching the video at BEAJ. At NGB I continually think that the xians who visit must have some sort of mental condition. I am in awe at their ignorance. Hovind has given me some insight into the workings of their warped minds.

BEAJ, I would thank you directly but I can't post on your site.

Krystalline Apostate said...

remy:
His site is moderated - it won't show up until he okays the comment.

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

Remy, I keep changing my moderation preferences on my blog. I have one Spammer from a message board who cuts and pastes non related items whenever I don't moderate, and I wind up wasting time deleting his comments.
Right now I am not allowing anonymous comments, I'll change that again.

beepbeepitsme said...

I think "bubble boy" has just about worn me out. I will let others harrass him at their liesure now.

remy said...

I have tryed before to quote scripture at them but even that fails.

I might try again just to amuse myself.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BBIM:
I think "bubble boy" has just about worn me out. I will let others harrass him at their liesure now.
It's the old 'keep at 'em until they surrender' ploy.
If you answer him, he'll think he has valid points. If you don't, he'll declare victory. If you ban him, he'll declare victory.
Only the passage of years will wake up a teenage boy.
I call him 'bubble boy', because he had no clue that his hero was up on charges, BTW.

remy:
I have tryed before to quote scripture at them but even that fails.
It's good for the odd amusement now & again, but I had a conversation w/David Eller at the West Coast meet this year, & he told me on our shuttle ride, that if you 'argue the bible w/them [xtians], it's more a form of reinforcement. They usually remember the discussion was about the BIBLE more often than not'. (paraphrase)
Plus, some of them pull an allegorical nod to their 'holy' book out of the entire thing.
So I try to steer away from that these days, though I indulge myself from time to time.

remy said...

I have read through bubble boy's ranting and the urge to engage went, pop!

Have you been following the threads at philaletheia with drunkentune and beep?

Krystalline Apostate said...

remy:
Actually, I haven't been looking at philaletheia. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

KA,

I can’t speak to the validity of the represented figures, as I have neither been to the website or watched the video. However, it is possible and common to reach percentiles in excess off 100%

You stated:

“By saying that birth rates are up 100% among unwed girls, this is effectively stating that every single unwed girl is pregnant.”

It is possible to say that birth rates increased 100% and not mean that every single unwed girl is pregnant. I think you’re failing to distinguish between figures representative of a whole vs. figures representative of change.

For example, you cannot eat more that 100% of a pizza (as a whole). If someone said that they ate 110% of a pizza you would think their nuts; and I think this is what you were getting at. However, if on Monday, someone ate 2 pieces of pizza and one Tuesday the same person ate 6 pieces of pizza; they increased their pizza consumption by 300%. Let me see if I can show this for you:

Monday: 2 pieces of Pizza = 100% consumption

Therefore:

4 pieces of Pizza = 200% of consumption (or twice as much)
6 pieces of Pizza = 300% of consumption (or three times as much) etc….

This can be done without eating 100% of the Pizza (say if the pizza was 12 pieces)

If the pizza was 12 pieces, only 50% was eaten, even though here was an increase in pizza consumption of 300% between Monday and Tuesday.

But whether or not Gonorrhea is up 385% I don’t know, but it’s mathematically possible from X date to X date.

But then again, I do fall into your category of “retard”

Take care

Krystalline Apostate said...

BF:
I can’t speak to the validity of the represented figures, as I have neither been to the website or watched the video. However, it is possible and common to reach percentiles in excess off 100%
Not in demographic studies.
It is possible to say that birth rates increased 100% and not mean that every single unwed girl is pregnant. I think you’re failing to distinguish between figures representative of a whole vs. figures representative of change.
I’d really like to see any kind of demographic studies that illustrate a 100% increase or more, i.e., in behavior, etc. You also have to factor in increase in the population, don’t you?
For example, you cannot eat more that 100% of a pizza (as a whole). If someone said that they ate 110% of a pizza you would think their nuts; and I think this is what you were getting at. However, if on Monday, someone ate 2 pieces of pizza and one Tuesday the same person ate 6 pieces of pizza; they increased their pizza consumption by 300%.
You can have an increase in consumption: hell, you can even have an increase in population that exceeds 100%. But when you delve into a population’s actual demographics, you have to judge between specific dates. You don’t add the percentages from 1 year to another, and come up w/a total of percentages. It’s contingent on a number of matters also. Are these annual numbers? What’s the yearly curve? Years, biannual, decades? You calculate from 1 year to the next: Wow! Numbers are up 1000%! However, in the interests of accuracy, if you include a spread of a decade, it changes tremendously.
I can fairly accurately guess that inclusion/exclusion of a specific ethnicity is an anomaly thrown into the numbers. I can pretty much bet money that the figures shown probably don’t include black people and/or Hispanic. Not playing a race card, just guessing: are 1963 censuses (censi?) that inclusive across a broad range of subsections? How often does a census worker get accurate stats from say, Spanish Harlem?
I might add, that in the video, post-ridiculous percentages, there’s a brief glimpse of what appears to be an actual graph from the census that shows a 35% column.
But whether or not Gonorrhea is up 385% I don’t know, but it’s mathematically possible from X date to X date.
It’s possible, if the population is static. It rarely is.
Let’s say, for kicks ‘n giggles, that pneumonia is up 385% from last year. Does this factor in the increase in population? Compared to the amount of cases from last year, it seems to be 385%. But this year, the population increased in that given area by say 500% (immigrants and/or simple migration pattern of suburbanites from 1 area to another).
So it’s not 385% anymore.
But then again, I do fall into your category of “retard”
I dunno. In most cases, you seem pretty sharp. This creationism bugaboo of yours is…well, you know my position on that. That & the gawd thing.

Statistics is 1 of those fields where it’s difficult to get any accurate results. Mostly, it’s a relatively ambiguous field, chockfull of ‘fuzzy’ math. You can use statistics to prove just about anything.

I'm fairly positive that Hovind just added each percentile.

Stardust1954 said...

It really pisses me off that Hovind misrepresents himself as a highly educated science educator when he really is nothing but a dumbass preacher con-man who manipulates facts in order to promote his own mythological agenda.

What is even worse is how so many grown sheeple hang on his every word as if he is Einstein himself reincarnated.

Krystalline Apostate said...

stardust:
It really pisses me off that Hovind misrepresents himself as a highly educated science educator when he really is nothing but a dumbass preacher con-man who manipulates facts in order to promote his own mythological agenda.
Yeah, ole 'Dr. Dufus' really chaps my hide, he does.
What is even worse is how so many grown sheeple hang on his every word as if he is Einstein himself reincarnated.
I'm sure he's the belle of the ball where he's at now.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

KA...math was always my worst subject, and percentages and stats nearly killed me. But I'd like to see what MarkCC at http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/
would say about the math; he can deconstruct and explain math concepts very well.

(However, to be perfectly honest, I would never trust the statistics of any of the fundies without pages of written proof).

Krystalline Apostate said...

maggie:
KA...math was always my worst subject, and percentages and stats nearly killed me.
Me too - I can add, subtract, multiply & divide in my head: past that, it's time to whip out the old calculator, or do an Excel spreadsheet.
But I'd like to see what MarkCC at http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/
would say about the math; he can deconstruct and explain math concepts very well.

That's a thought.
(However, to be perfectly honest, I would never trust the statistics of any of the fundies without pages of written proof).
I've found for the most part, that fundies & teeny-boppers have this in common:
They only tell the parts of the story that make them look good.
Frankensplicing. The media does this too. Selected highlights.

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

KA, it is acceptable to state that a birthrate increased by 100% that would simply mean it doubled.

In horse racing for example, you can have a 300% return on investment, for example.

Krystalline Apostate said...

BEAJ:
KA, it is acceptable to state that a birthrate increased by 100% that would simply mean it doubled.
I understand that completely.
My point is that you can't have an increase in disease rate w/o figuring in the increase in population.

Bacon Eating Atheist Jew said...

OK, that is true, but populations over a decade don't change that much, maybe 12-15% in the West. But it is still relevant depending on the timeframe used.