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Stats. Stats. Stats.

The average person hears or reads them approximately 1 in every 4 hours [1]. Chance of rain. Chance your favorite team will win. Chance you'll contract cancer. It's enough to make 1300+ people jump off San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge since 1937.

Well I want to clear the air about a couple of common misconceptions about statistics.

1. Statistics is a science that involves the analysis of data from past events and applying it towards the prediction of future events.

   NOTE: THIS DOES NOT WORK IN REVERSE!


Scientists, by looking at our own biological history, have determined that the probability of life forming on any given planet is very small. Creation "theorists" consider this a boon to their argument for intelligent design, "reasoning" that the likelihood of life on our own planet forming on its own is too small to be believed. Replacing this improbability with a scientific impossibility is not their only logical misstep. While the probability of a past event occurring again in the future may be miniscule the probability of every past event having already occurred is always 100 percent (see note above). You cannot predict the past. It is set in stone.

2. Statistics do not live in a bubble. According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File your chances of being attacked by a shark are just 1 in 11.5 million. However, if you strip naked, cover yourself in chum and jump into a shark tank wherein you proceed to annoy the man-eaters by poking them with an electric baton and making bad fish puns then your chances increase exponentially. Statistics are used by the reckless and hypochondriacs alike to support their relationship to life's dangers.

I say take reasonable precautions then carpe diem.

References

  1. Citation needed

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