Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Monday, November 01, 2004
 
Tim Lambert has sent me his response to Tim Worstall's response to that Lancet article.

From what I know of the two I am much more inclined towards the Worstall view of the world than the Lambert one. But in the interest of a detailed and highly educated debate about statistics that will almost certainly not include me as a participant, there they both are.

UPDATE: More from Ragout, concentrating on Beth Osborne Daponte, the demographer Fred Kaplan of Slate spoke to.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tim Worstall says he was wrong and Tim Lambert was right. I still love you, Tim! Thank you, Other Tim!

Time for my totally unscientific bit. I stand by my prediction that the study will be withdrawn or corrected. I don't know much about statistics* but I know something about history, military history in particular. A hundred thousand is just way too high. That's big war stuff and this is a little war.

I do not, of course, expect anyone on this earth to believe the Lancet study must be wrong because Natalie's gut feeling says so. (Or because Natalie's husband, the War Studies Guy, says so too.) For all that, my argument is not as irrational as it first appears. There are many fields - ironically, medicine among them - where even world experts intuit first and back it up afterwards. A "nose", antique dealers call it.

*Here's an odd thought, not intended to be contentious. I have A-Levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics and also did some statistics as part of a degree in Physics. Hence I probably do know more statistics than 99% of the population. But I still say "I don't know much about statistics" and mean it. Complicated world out there.