There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics…

So quipped Mark Twain, and, in the main, he was right. Statistics can be made to say pretty much whatever one wants them to say, all while telling what may well be truth, of a sort, or what one may think to be the truth; or what one wants others to think to be the truth.

One person is in a room, and another enters: The population doubled in an instant. Two people, and two more enter, the population grew exponentially. In the seventies, it was reported that ten percent of the male population is homosexual, but they only tested inmates in an (obviously) all-male prison. Whether the Earth is warming up depends by and large with what baseline temperature one begins. And we may add to this what collection set of data, at what scale (decades? centuries? millennia?) What mathematical model is being used? And how does one tease out natural cycles and inherent variability – as the saying goes, the weather is always changing – from the anthropogenic causes? What of natural sinks, the Boreal forests and wide expanse and depth of the oceans, that act to maintain homeostasis?

Praise the Lord

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