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Quotes of the Day for 24 April 2002 – Statistics

John Graunt was born at London on this day in 1620, and went on to invent the statistical science of demographics. Statistics have a bad reputation because of the quantity of bad information that is put out, and how infrequently journalists and politicians actually understand them. It's also amusing that the last quote below is often attributed to Benjamin Disraeli. Mark Twain attributed the quote to Disraeli in his autobiography, but most researchers are convinced that, like many statistics floating around, Twain made this one up.

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The quotes:

Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
     - Aaron Levenstein

Statistics are no substitute for judgment.
     - Henry Clay, 1777 - 1852

Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
     - Laurence J. Peter

I always find that statistics are hard to follow and impossible to digest. The only one I can ever remember is that if all the people who go to sleep in church were laid end to end they would be a lot more comfortable.
     - Mrs. Robert A. Taft

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
     - Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

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