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Journal bettiwettiwoo's Journal: The Worst Junk Stats of 2007 6

TimesOnline presents 9 of the worst 2007 stories involving 'lies, damned lies, and statistics'. ('Those figures you read in the newspaper were pretty convincing, right? Think again. Here are some classic idiocies.')

My personal favourite would probably be:

First, the UN, for making a mockery of a serious business. It said in November that HIV-Aids was spreading, while revising its figures for the number of sufferers down. That's right, they've gone up -- to a lower number (from about 40 million to 33 million). Researchers admitted that their sampling (in urban maternity clinics) had been biased. Pregnant women turn out to be a poor sample of the rest of the population because -- guess what? -- they've all had unprotected sex. [Emphasis added.]

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The Worst Junk Stats of 2007

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell

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