Torture numbers, and they'll confess to anything.
98% of all statistics are made up.
Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.
Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.
~Bobby Bragan, 1963
Statistics can be made to prove anything - even the truth.
Statistics are human beings with the tears wiped off.
~Paul Brodeur, Outrageous Misconduct
Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.
Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.
He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts - for support rather than for illumination.
One more fagot of these adamantine bandages is the new science of Statistics.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Statistics are like women; mirrors of purest virtue and truth, or like whores to use as one pleases.
Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.
~William W. Watt
Then there is the man who drowned crossing a stream with an average depth of six inches.
There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.
~Rex Stout, Death of a Doxy
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
Satan delights equally in statistics and in quoting scripture....
~H.G. Wells, The Undying Fire
The average human has one breast and one testicle.
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
A statistical analysis, properly conducted, is a delicate dissection of uncertainties, a surgery of suppositions.
Statistics may be defined as "a body of methods for making wise decisions in the face of uncertainty."
After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, "Lies - damned lies - and statistics," still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of.
~Leonard Courtney, speech, August 1895, New York, "To My Fellow-Disciples at Saratoga Springs," printed in The National Review (London, 1895) (Thanks, Mark)
Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
~Mark Twain, autobiography, 1904 (but, as yet no actual record of this under Disraeli's authorship)
The theory of probabilities is at bottom nothing but common sense reduced to calculus.
~Laplace, Théorie analytique des probabilités, 1820
I abhor averages. I like the individual case. A man may have six meals one day and none the next, making an average of three meals per day, but that is not a good way to live.
~Louis D. Brandeis
I could prove God statistically. Take the human body alone - the chances that all the functions of an individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity.