There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
(Benjamin Disraeli, commonly misattributed to Mark Twain because he quotes Disraeli in Autobiography)
- Remember that most experiments are run to demonstrate to the rest of the world that a particular theory is correct, and that theory often tells us what kind of results to expect.
(David C. Howell from Fundamental Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences 6th edition, p. 358)
- Scientific laws are not advanced by the principle of authority or justified by faith or medieval philosophy; statistics is the only court of appeal to new knowledge.
(P.C. Mahalanobis from Statistics & Truth by C. R. Rao.)
- What is more unwise than to mistake uncertainty for certainty, falsehood for truth?"
(Cicero - Roman orator, statesman and philosopher; 106-43 B.C.)
- While the individual man is an insoluble puzzle, in the aggregate he becomes a mathematical certainty. You can, for example, never foretell what any one man will be up to, but you can say with precision what an average number will be up to. Individuals vary, but percentages remain constant. So says the statistician.
(Arthur Conan Doyle)
- Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.
(William W. Watt)
- I always find that statistics are hard to swallow 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)