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.)
Back to main blog
Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.
( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
The Old Comrades:
November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 August 2007 October 2007 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 March 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 October 2009 January 2010 March 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 April 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
In which I devote 73 times more effort than it is worth into debunking an Independent Statistic of the Day.
That was the statistic I got a bit strange about in this post here. Remember? The Independent said that 73 is the "average number of dangerous chemicals present in the blood of Europeans." It gave no indication of how dangerous a chemical has to be to be called "dangerous", whether "present" meant anything more than present in traces, and how it is demonstrated that these chemicals originated from computers, textiles and cosmetics rather than trees, organic food and wrestlers. The WWF survey did talk about these things, but for the Independent to omit the slightest mention of them converted that great big 73 into nothing more than a great big boo! to frighten the children.
And then I noticed that the dear old Indy couldn't even get its own meaningless frightening statistic right. It said that 73 was the average number of dangerous blahs found blah blah. Yet according to page 20 of the WWF document, of the 107 chemicals analysed for, 73 were detected in the whole survey. The median number was 29.
Back to EU Rota. He, she or they - it appears to be a group blog*, and the author of this post is known only as "GEA3" - took a look at the WWF survey and discovered the number of persons studied.
What does the WWF base their far-reaching 'scientific' study upon? Ahh, page 16 of the report:That's thirty-nine as in three-nine as in one less than forty.
I mean, I'm not saying that a careful study of thirty-nine people has no value to science, but it does seem a little skimpy as a basis from which to draw the rather large policy conclusions that Karl Wagner, the director of the WWF's DetoX campaign, does draw. He is quoted here as asking, "How much more evidence is needed before industry and European politicians accept that these hazardous chemicals cannot be adequately controlled?"
Quite a lot more, Herr Wagner.
Read the rest of EU Rota's post or I will boil your kidneys with 73 different hexes.
Finally, what's with the WWF being a "Foundation" nowadays? A mere Fund was good enough for Sir Peter Scott.
*GEA3 later emailed to say he's a he and there's only one of him. Warned me to stay away from the killer hand soap, too. A kindly thought.