OT: Interesting

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I found this interesting and thought I'd post it here since the group is geographically diverse and known to offer varying insights. If anybody has some thoughts, I'd love to hear them:
http://consumerist.com/357220/study-says-payday-lenders-more-prevalent-in-areas-of-high-christian-conservative-power
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Jeff wrote:

http://consumerist.com/357220/study-says-payday-lenders-more-prevalent-in-areas-of-high-christian-conservative-power
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Figures don't lie????
In my finance days, they'd ask us what the answer was, we'd ask them what they want/need it to be. And we used to same set of figures to get to any of the above answers.
Figures *only* lie
Or said another way, 3 type of lies: Lies, Damn Lies and statistics.
jc
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*snip*

FYI, I often see that quote attributed to Mark Twain. (Sometimes I forget the exact quote and who said it so I can't look it up.)
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Puckdropper wrote:

I think it was Winston Churchill.
--

Tanus

www.home.mycybernet.net/~waugh/shop/
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Tanus wrote:

It's widely credited to Benjamin Disraeli, before Churhill was born. Mark Twain popularized the phrase in the US, but was not the originator. It may have been around before Disraeli, but the accreditations aren't verifiable.
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Figures don't lie???
what about a figure involving one or more of: a corset a girdle a push-up bra a bustier a Merry Widow
<grin>
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Lou Newell wrote:

The data is the data. What conclusions are drawn from that data is where it can get messy. If you find a fossilized bone that carbon dating provides a range for its age of 100 to 150 million years old, and there are similar fossilized bones who's age have been determined by other methods and have a similar age, and are similar types of bones, it's reasonable and logical to conclude that the planet on which the fossils were found - is probably NOT Seven Days old, NOR only 7,000 years old. If, despite the data, you choose to believe that the planet, in this case Earth, is only 7,000 years old because a document you believe is true "says" - with out any emperical data to support it - that the fossilized data is wrong - then you're taking The Book 's/ Document's version of how old the earth is stricly on faith, not the available data.
charlie b
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charlieb wrote:

or, using your example, if one takes carbon dating to be accurate when measuring time periods on the order of millions of years despite the fact that it has been proven to be inaccurate and unreliable for measurements conducted on items for which a known date can be used (i.e. a control sample with an unrelated measurement methodology), then one is letting ones desires drive what they think the data is.
--
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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C-14 dating relies on an isotope whose half-life is only a couple thousand years. In order to date anything older - such as dinosaur bones - the fossil is dated in context. If the strata in which the fossil is located dates to 65 million years, then rational people conclude the fossil dates to that epoch. Radiometric dating methods rely on isotopes whose half-lives are significantly longer. Because of the slow decay of these isotopes, we can date rocks as old as the earth - 4.5 billion years old to the surprise of some - if we had any rocks as old as the earth.
Jeff
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;!) I understand the theory of carbon dating but you cannot prove that it is accurate. Somewhere along the line there could be a tiny mistake in a calculation that will not show up for another 4.5 billion years. Until then IMHO it is a wild guess that could be wildly inaccurate. If it were accurate why is it that the fossil does not age. It was discovered 50 years ago and is the same age today as it was then. Should it not be 4,500,000,050 years old now? If there was confidence in the accuracy it would be given a creation date and the age could be determined on any given day. 4.5 billion years is extremely vague and is probably inaccurate. Perhaps the fossil is only 4.3 billion years old, that would throw carbon dating off by 100,000,000 years. That does not sound accurate. And while I am on this soap box, every so many years the time is changed because the earth is slowing down. Years are measured by the time it takes for the earth to revolve around the sun. 4.5 billion years ago, did the earth revolve around the sun at the same speed? ;~) What if the earth only took 364 days to complete a revolution 4.5 billion years ago. How far off would that throw the dating calculations off? The other day my wife and I were looking through a telescope and we both spied a younger woman, my wife quickly pointed out that the other woman was 1.5 billion Light Years Away.
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"Leon" wrote

ROTFL ... then again, there are something's that can be calculated precisely ... like the force of that hand slapping you upside the head.
F=MA
;)
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The math is in this wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_14_dating
Specifically, what are your problems with it?
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Clearly you do NOT understand carbon dating, and in fact do not even understand the concept of accuracy.
Accuracy is not a binary function.

Clearly you also do not understand how time is defined.

But even more clearly, you DO understand women. That puts you way ahead of 99% of the men on this planet.
OK, I see you were spoofing. Good Job! You got me.
--
FF



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On Feb 17, 8:11 pm, tough guy or gal Mark & Juanita

Or, using your example, if one observes that the method fails due to confounding factors (typically contamination) in some cases and from that reach the conclusion that the method is, in general, invalid then one is letting one's desires drive their conclusions.
--
FF



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<devils' advocate>
How about the 'simplifying assumption' that the planet in question _was_ created "Seven Days" (or any _other_ arbitrary period) ago, _including_ 'internal evidence' of say, 2.3 billion years of existence?` All the available data =is= as consistent with _that_ hypothesis, as it is with any 'scientific' hypothesis.
Inferences drawn from data are just that.
If you can't construct *many* test cases to very that things _will_ happen as claimed, *whatever* one postulates to be the 'truth' is nothing more than an opinion.
That said, _not_ all opinions are of equal 'worth' or 'value'. One that allows one to accurately predict future events is more valuable that one that asserts, in effect, that 'prediction is futile'. Something that says "things were constructed 'by design' so that they always follow the observed patterns" is FUNCTIONALLY EQUIVALENT TO one that simply says 'things always follow these observed patterns."
</devil>
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charlieb wrote:

Your argument itself confuses data with conclusions. The data is that carbon-14 is X percent of the object's carbon content. An age range isn't data, it's a conclusion drawn from that data. The conclusion is based on certain assumptions. If those assumptions are faulty, so is the conclusion. (I'm not arguing for any particular conclusion, just pointing out the fallacy of the argument you are making to support your point.)
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Just Curious wrote:

The conclusion is based on certain other experiments which reveal the half-life of carbon-14. The only assumption is that that rate has remained constant.
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Oh no, there ARE several others including:
1) the object being tested was not contaminated with more recent, or older carbon.
2) the ratio of C14/C12 in the atmosphere has remained constant (which it has not --the observed change in the 20th century is some of the strongest evidence that the rise in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is anthropogenic, DAGS "Suess effect"). It also varies with variations in cosmic ray flux.
3) That C14 was not preferentially incorporated into the object vs C12, or vice versa.
Those are only assumptions until they are tested. If validated, they become conclusions. In some cases other studies permit calibrations to compensate for the inaccuracy of the assumption. For instance, measuring the C14/C12 ration in tree rings allows a calibration to compensate for '2', above.
--
FF


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