Please save use of this tag for questions that are fundamentally *about* statistics

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3
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1answer
311 views

Are actuarial life expectancy tables based on information that is 40 years out of date?

I was chatting to some older folks today that had recently attended a "retirement course" (i.e. a course that teaches you about retirement and what to expect etc.). One of the presenters apparently ...
5
votes
0answers
227 views

What is the five-year failure rate for condom-usage?

Dr Stephen Genuis models the long-term failure rate of condoms in a Catholic Education Resource Center article The effectiveness of a contraceptive method is defined in terms of the phrase "number ...
13
votes
2answers
749 views

Have more people been killed by automobiles than by all wars combined?

I read this claim somewhere recently, and a google search shows that it's occasionally made around the web, but was perhaps more common in the 1970's (many of the stories I find online are people ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

Will a warming climate cause more crime?

The Register reports, somewhat skeptically, that an american consultant has produced an analysis claiming that climate change will lead to an increase in crime. The paper, published in the Journal ...
7
votes
1answer
234 views

Do 52% of computer users lose irreplaceable documents, photos, music and videos every year?

Livedrive claims that "52% of computer users lose irreplaceable documents, photos, music and videos every year?". Is there any published study on that matter?
9
votes
2answers
470 views

Have global surface temperatures not shown significant warming since the late 1990s?

Those skeptical about the science of global warming have frequently alleged that the surface temperature record has "paused" since about 1998 and showed no significant warming trend (see this recent ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Have surgical guidelines on the use of beta-blockers killed tens of thousands of people?

Medical guidelines designed to avoid damage to the heart during non-cardiac surgery in Europe recommend the use of beta-blockers. But the guidance was partially written by and largely based on work by ...
8
votes
1answer
275 views

Has olanzapine (Zyprexa) caused 200,000 deaths?

In an editorial titled "Should journals stop publishing research funded by the drug industry? " in the British Medical Journal the authors make the following claim: Another dire example is ...
14
votes
1answer
943 views

Are Americans ignorant of geography and the world?

The meme of American ignorance in geography and world affairs seems to be pretty common in my experience. But, how much truth is there in it? While I'm inclined to believe that the US population is ...
9
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0answers
437 views

Is Sensodyne recommended by “nine out of ten dentists”?

Sensodyne is famously known for saying "Recommended by nine out of ten dentists". Since being introduced in 1961, Sensodyne has become the favorite sensitive toothpaste of dentists around the ...
6
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0answers
295 views

Are Lottery Quick Picks independently and uniformly distributed?

Let's set aside the argument that computers have a pseudo-random number generator. I'm interested in knowing if a lottery terminal generates each quick pick independently from all previous picks and ...
0
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1answer
87 views

Does the inclusion of whole population medical screening undermine the benefits of wellness programmes?

Workplace wellness programmes are becoming increasingly popular as employers (and governments) attempt to control escalating healthcare costs. They offer the promise of making the workforce healthier ...
5
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0answers
151 views

Has knowledge in mathematics in teenagers decreased through time?

I have been told that the level of knowledge in mathematics is much lower today than twenty or fifty years ago. Is it true? I'm looking for statistics that present the level of knowledge in ...
4
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1answer
165 views

Is “treatment induced injury” one of the leading causes of death and disability?

David Healy's latest blog warns against the credulity of doctors in the face of vast marketing efforts by pharmaceutical firms. In making a general argument about how the medical profession ought to ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Have statins been responsible for a major reduction in cardiovascular disease?

Statins are a range of pharmaceuticals that inhibit the body's ability to produce "bad" cholesterol thereby reducing the amount in the blood. Lower LDL levels in the blood are known to be associated ...
3
votes
1answer
257 views

Did the Palestinian Authority exaggerate their census numbers by 50%?

A claim is here: In 1997, the PA published census figures that exaggerated its population figures in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Jerusalem by nearly 50 percent. The PA double counted Arab ...
10
votes
1answer
322 views

Are the innocents in US prison a single digit percentage?

There is controversy on whether there are a few percents of innocent people in US jails or much less. For example according to the Innocent project Q. How many innocent people are there in ...
6
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0answers
558 views

Do over 80% of day traders lose money?

I've heard multiple times that the vast majority of day traders, sometimes given as "over 99%", lose money. What's a realistic number? For specificity, use a one year time-frame. For example, here ...
8
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0answers
259 views

Do heavy drinkers outlive nondrinkers?

This claim has all the hallmarks of a made up story (too good to be true, against common wisdom, etc.), but is being spread around social media and appears on TIme, who sources it to a scientific ...
4
votes
3answers
274 views

Has climate change measurably increased the likelihood of tropical storms such as Haiyan?

The recent extreme tropical storm Haiyan has brought the relationship between cyclones and climate change back into the newspaper headlines. This recent headline from Britain's Daily Mirror suggests ...
6
votes
1answer
266 views

Does England devote as much land to Golf as housing?

England is, apparently, one of the most "crowded" countries in the world with a high population density and the population is growing quite quickly. This has prompted a variety of concerns about ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Do 50% of prostitutes have HIV?

The Prostitution Statistics You Have to Know claims that: 50% of prostitutes throughout the world have contracted the HIV virus (For this statistic it references this BBC news article: The men ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Does a waning moon have a positive influence on recovery after surgery?

After seeing my GP about a wart on my knee she suggested that any removal should be done while the moon is waning in order to improve recovery. This sounded, to put it mildly, odd to me. Have there ...
5
votes
1answer
322 views

Do management consulting firms add more value to their clients than the fees they charge?

A recent question here (Does paying consultants by the hour increase the likelihood that the consultant proposes overly complex solutions?) prompted me to ask the more fundamental question of whether ...
7
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1answer
274 views

Does the extent of illiteracy in children correlate with future criminality?

Neil Gaiman recently made what has been hailed as one of the best commencement speeches ever at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (reported here, available as a book here). In it he talks about ...
5
votes
5answers
463 views

Did the IPCC obfuscate the evidence in a way that obscures the discrepancy between previous climate models and recent observations?

Just before the recent IPPC meeting which was due to publish new analysis on climate change, the Financial Times published an excellent summary of the difference between predictions made in the last ...
4
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0answers
171 views

Do 15% of elite college students in the US not meet the admission requirements?

According to this article from the BBC, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22025328: As many as 15% of white students admitted to elite colleges don't meet admissions standards. This quote seems ...
3
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0answers
113 views

What significance levels are usually required to accept a phenomenon as real? [closed]

As you probably know, the James Randi educational foundation offers 1 000 000$ for "any psychic, supernatural, or paranormal ability under satisfactory observation". But sometimes such claimed ...
20
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1answer
3k views

Did 9/11 lead to many deaths due to car accidents “dwarfing” the attacks themselves?

Well-renowned security expert Bruce Schneier claims that In the months after 9/11, so many people chose to drive instead of fly that the resulting deaths dwarfed the deaths from the terrorist ...
2
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0answers
61 views

Is there is a significant association between (whole) milk consumption and cancer [duplicate]

I consume high quantities of whole milk (probably a third-gallon a day), and I'm concerned with the potentially negative cancer-causing effects of this consumption. I found the following claims on ...
46
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3answers
3k views

Are 42% of human deaths worldwide from abortion?

Lately, social media has been flooded with all sorts of "facts" about abortion. This one in particular caught my attention: 42% of yearly deaths in the world are from abortion A worldwide ...
14
votes
1answer
726 views

Do US senators and congressmen make abnormally high returns on their stock market investments?

Nate Silver's popular book on the art and science of prediction, The Signal and the Noise has a chapter on financial markets called If you can't beat em.... The chapter spends some time discussing the ...
11
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0answers
874 views

Is spelling (orthography) correlated with adult intelligence?

I been told that spelling ability (good orthography) is correlated with intelligence (which is a nice way to say: if you are bad with orthography, you are stupid). So far I have been unable to find a ...
1
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0answers
139 views

Does treating people with mild hypertension improve their outcomes?

There is a reasonably strong relationship between high blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiovascular events such s strokes and heart attacks. As a result, conventional wisdom (as expressed here by ...
21
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1answer
1k views

Can oral sex cause throat cancer?

(somebody had to ask this) Micheal Douglas, who was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2010, said in a recent interview with the Guardian: Asked whether he now regretted his years of smoking and ...
4
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0answers
380 views

Are Orthodox Jewish women suffering from a Shidduch (Marriage) Crisis?

There is a popular opinion (they also appear in other sources in the Jewish Blogosphere) in the Orthodox Jewish world that there is such a thing nowadays as a "Shidduch [Marriage] Crisis". The idea ...
2
votes
2answers
441 views

Is there evidence that competition between hospitals creates better quality and lower cost healthcare?

There is a debate in England, as the government is changing the way the NHS works, to introduce more competition. The NHS will still operate as a single payer, covering the whole population: but ...
23
votes
7answers
3k views

Is it accurate to say that 97% of experts agree that global warming is anthropogenic?

A recent spate of newspaper headlines reported that 97% of scientists agreed with the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). The UK's Daily telegraph reported: A review of 12,000 scientific ...
5
votes
1answer
773 views

Are guns in the USA used 80 time more often to protect life than to take it?

I came across this infographic recently: http://americangunfacts.com/ I wonder how truthful it really is? Even if the numbers presented are correct, it seems that they present it in a way that is not ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Are manual transmission cars stolen less?

There is a decent amount of anecdotal evidence about manual transmissions being a good anti-theft device - but are there any statistics? Here's a statistic-less article from MSN.com It's folk ...
3
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0answers
220 views

Does prison work reduce recidivism?

I'm having difficulty finding statistics comparing the recidivism rates of regular prisoners and the ones that worked while serving the sentence. I can't remember where but I've read that "specialists ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Is the value of a tree $193,250?

There is a sign, at the Eden Nature Park & Resort in City of Davao, Philippines, that says this: Of concern to all! A tree is worth $193,250 According to Professor T.M.Das of the ...
-3
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2answers
274 views

x percent of people own y percent of the wealth

It is very common in infographics such as the following: to make a point about wealth inequality by showing a disproportionate amount of money owned by the richest people. I am slightly skeptical ...
9
votes
3answers
599 views

is it safe to assume birth control pills never fail? [closed]

I think that birth-control pills technically have a failure rate of almost zero but not quite zero. But assuming birth-control pills are taken on-schedule, as prescribed, is it safe to assume they ...
2
votes
0answers
143 views

Did Lewandowsky use dodgy data in his paper showing correlation between free market and anti-science views?

In 2012 Australian psychologist Stephen Lewandowsky (and others) published a paper claiming to show that there was a significant correlation between beliefs in free market economics and the rejection ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Did the National Rifle Association (NRA) block research into statistics related to gun control?

About 30,000 americans die every year from gun-related deaths (a number likely to exceed those dying from automobile-related accidents very soon if trends continue). This totals more than 300,000 ...
10
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0answers
432 views

In the USA, do supporters of the Republican party make more charitable donations than supporters of the Democrats?

Republicans argue that those that benefit more from capitalism and want the government to do less to help others would be more likely to give that money away. ABC's 2020 is one source of this claim. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the Lindy effect well supported by evidence?

The Lindy effect is the observation that, contrary to the pattern with perishable things like people, the longevity so far is a good predictor of the future longevity. In other words, technologies ...
1
vote
1answer
604 views

Are only 5% of Americans naturally blonde?

In his phenomenally thorough study of what the typical porn star looks like (see Is the typical female porn star a big-boobed blonde?) John Millward mentions in passing that: only 5% of Americans ...
19
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1answer
673 views

Is there a “red shift” in U.S. elections — a significant shift to republican votes between polls and voting? Does this imply fraud?

This questions on Politics SE introduced me to the concept of the red shift. In short, the claim of a red shift boils down to a statistically significant difference between outcome of final exit polls ...