Fun With Numbers
How Figures Lie And Liars Figure
Results from a recent poll, conducted by Washington, DC pollsters Greenber Quilan Rosner Research for, or and in conjunction with, the Federation of American Societies For Experimental Biology (FASEB), claims 61% of Americans support the concept of evolution. Considering a recent Gallup poll showed only 13% of Americans accepted evolution without guidance and 38% accepted it with guidance, red flags shot up like so many dandelions on a warm rainy day.
And for good reason!
One of the first causes of concern were statements found on the polling firm’s website boasting of focusing on “Progressive” causes and listing advocacy polling as one of its specialties. By their very nature, advocacy polls should always be considered suspect because their design is to support pre-determined views.
Investigators from the Expert Source Bureau (ESB) then noted the poll’s authors violated several basic principles of generally accepted polling practices as outlined by the National Council on Public Polls (NCPP). This included the exclusion of a large percentage of the adult population by confining the poll to likely voters and the destruction of the survey’s very integrity by removing participants from the base if they answered “incorrectly.”
However after all was said and done, the ESB was able to use the pollsters’ own numbers to reconstruct the poll in accordance with generally accepted polling practices as suggested by the NCPP. In doing so, it quickly became apparent the liberal interpretation offered by the FASEB and aggressively promoted by LiveScience.com, was so far off base as to bring into question the FASEB’s very integrity. Instead of showing 61% of Americans were supportive of evolution, the actual figures indicated:
- 19.5% of those polled supported evolution without Supreme guidance
- 13.2% supported evolution with Supreme guidance
- 67.3% either did not support evolution in any way or simply refused to participate further.
As Jack Koenig, Executive Director of the Expert Source Bureau pointed out, it is incomprehensible that anyone – especially someone valuing their reputation - would make such absurd claims as the FASEB and LiveScience.com. Unfortunately for the FASEB and associated groups, their loss of credibility far outweighs any temporary fame achieved with their distortions. And as the old saying goes, “Recovering lost credibility is almost as difficult as trying to put toothpaste back in a tube.”
To read our full analysis of the FASEB’s poll, click HERE
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