Top 5 Posts for 2012 at Skeptical Science

I do not generally check my blog statistics anymore, that is not why I write. Seeing thousands of hits for a specific posting might craft an illusion of approval or popularity, but perhaps is something that has simply passed into some other community and hit a few of their hot buttons. Anyway, what postings in 2012 generated … Read moreTop 5 Posts for 2012 at Skeptical Science

Fudging Statistics about belief – Does it really matter?

In Today’s Daily Pilot, an LA Times website, Richard Flory of Newport Beach responds in an opinion piece to an article written by Bruce Gleason. – One of the many original articles by Bruce is here – Richard’s reply is here To put this in context, Bruce wrote about Atheism on a Billboard back in August 2011 and … Read moreFudging Statistics about belief – Does it really matter?

Why do facts get distorted?

Understanding the dynamics and pressures can often help you to appreciate why you cannot trust statistical “facts” you find quoted in the papers.

As an example, consider the latest weather story about the appalling drought and heatwave that has engulfed the southern states of the US. Apparently it is the worst on record …

  • here claims that “Today and Friday are expected to be hotter than any time since 1950”
  • here claims “the worst in Texas history”

Read moreWhy do facts get distorted?

The US is not as religious as you think it is

There is a distinct impression that folks in the US are very religious, more so than those within other industrialized nations.This is often confirmed by opinion polls. Shankar Vedantam has some numbers for you in a Slate article … Two in five Americans say they regularly attend religious services. Upward of 90 percent of all … Read moreThe US is not as religious as you think it is