Thursday, June 24, 2004

Hmm . . . not so good at understanding statistics, are we?

From a NYT article about John Kerry's plans, if elected, to revoke Bush's stem cell funding ban, and the Nobel scientists supporting that move:

Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for Mr. Bush's re-election campaign, did not respond to the criticism of the president's policy prohibiting research on stem cells. . . . The issue has split his party, with many Republicans signing on to legislation to lift the limits. . . . Mr. Schmidt answered the attack by pointing out that 22 of the 48 Nobelists who signed the pro-Kerry statement also signed a statement in January 2003 opposing war in Iraq, and 16 had given money to Democratic candidates.

Well, my math tells me, then, that more than half of the Nobelists involved here did not oppose the war, and two-thirds haven't given money to Democratic candidates.

How this isn't a fair cross-section of the American political spectrum, based on these statistics, is beyond me. It just sounds like Mr. Schmidt can't say anything nice about his own candidate's views, so he has to smear his opponent's supporters. Not the slickest move when the election is still over five months away.


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