All Posts Tagged With "Statistics"

Scientific skepticism about vaccine safety: you’re doing it wrong

Scientific skepticism about vaccine safety: you’re doing it wrong

31 August 2012 by Richelle McCullough

  I don’t know what it is about vaccination that attracts so much vitriol, but in light of the recent pertussis outbreak which has claimed the life of an Albertan infant, I am loath to let anti-vaccine apologetics stand unchallenged. Today’s offering at the altar of McCarthy comes via Canadian pharmaceutical policy researcher, Alan Cassels. […]

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Posted in Health, Skepticism, Vaccines11 Comments

Crashing the Pox Party

Crashing the Pox Party

30 November 2011 by Richelle McCullough

Source There has been much abuzz about “pox parties” – the practice of parents getting a bunch of unvaccinated kids together with an infected one (pick one, really, though chicken pox is the focus of the recent article in Time) in the hope that their little sweethearts become ill and therefore “naturally” immune to the […]

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Posted in Alternative Medicine, Skepticism, Vaccines81 Comments

The Long and the Short of the Census Debate

The Long and the Short of the Census Debate

17 November 2011 by John Underhay

Dr. Ivan P. Fellegi, was the speaker at the 2011 Symons Lecture in Charlottetown, PEI on November 8. Dr. Fellegi is an internationally renowned statistician and was Canada’s Chief Statistician from 1985 until 2008. He spoke on how statistics are intrinsically linked to democracy, and in particular how the decision of the Canadian Government to […]

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Posted in Canada9 Comments

What We’re Reading

What We’re Reading

16 August 2011 by Scott Gavura

  It’s the lazy days of summer, folks. We’re thinking skeptically, but let’s just say we’ve been, well, distracted. Here’s what we’ve been reading, dockside. Homeopathy Homeopathic manufacturer Boiron is threatening to sue an Italian blogger regarding the homeopathic remedy Oscillococcinum, claiming posts are “defamatory”  Here’s his blog, translated into English. In yet another example […]

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Posted in Alternative Medicine, Diet and Nutrition, Probability and Statistics, Skepticism2 Comments

We Don’t Govern on the Basis of Statistics

We Don’t Govern on the Basis of Statistics

24 August 2010 by Marion Kilgour

In the past three months, the Harper government has said some things about statistics that are blatantly wrong and received some media attention, which is a bit unusual. What things did the government say, and were they actually correct? First, in June the government announced that it would be replacing the mandatory long form census […]

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Posted in Canada, Critical Thinking, Economics, Probability and Statistics8 Comments

Making the Streets Safer Through Math

01 June 2010 by Erik Davis

It was a tragic death, sweetened only by an act of parental love and the knowledge that it could have been worse.  On January 12th, Marites Mendoza was struck and killed by an 83-year old driver who ran a red light, pushing her stroller out of the way just in time to save her 12 […]

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Posted in Canada, Cognition, Critical Thinking, Health, Media, Ontario, Probability and Statistics, Skepticism1 Comment

Who’s killing our babies?

Who’s killing our babies?

25 May 2010 by Erik Davis

Maybe the dingo ate ‘em.  Or at least that would be a plausible suggestion, for all of the context provided by The Globe & Mail‘s front page article “Why are our babies dying?” on Saturday (interesting that the online edition has a less incendiary title).  The article addresses our drop in the OECD’s 2007 (latest […]

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Posted in Canada, Health, Probability and Statistics, Skepticism5 Comments

Pampers gets a bum rap

11 May 2010 by Jeff Orchard

I have a son who is about to turn two. He still wears diapers. Pampers Cruisers with Dry-Max, to be precise. Over the past 4 months or so, he’s been fighting this chronic bum rash (WARNING: for those who don’t have kids, graphic bum and diaper discussion ahead). His bum would often be red and […]

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Posted in Critical Thinking, Health, SkepticismComments Off

Statistics for Skeptics Part 2 – Correlation vs. Causation

26 January 2010 by Marion Kilgour

If you live in one of the counties around Edmonton, you’ve probably heard about the Alberta government’s plans to build some new high voltage power lines. In November, there was a protest staged by R.E.T.A and Strathcona County passed a resolution to oppose the construction. There are plenty of reasons for the uproar. Unfortunately, one […]

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Posted in Alberta, Critical Thinking4 Comments

Statistics for Skeptics Part 1 – The Confidence Interval

Statistics for Skeptics Part 1 – The Confidence Interval

07 January 2010 by Marion Kilgour

Statistics may be defined as “a body of methods for making wise decisions in the face of uncertainty.” ~W.A. Wallis Statistics are crucial to the skeptical position on so many topics, even though it can be frustrating to explain why to people. They provide us with a very powerful toolbox to separate what we wish […]

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Posted in Critical Thinking1 Comment