## Lies, Damned Lies & Statistics – Percentages

Let’s talk about mathematics – in particular percentages and how not to try to manipulate them.

With reference to the diagram below, you should not take data relating to the areas and present the following as factual information:

The number of animals in Area A has increased 33% over the past year.

(Known Data)

The number of animals visiting waterhole C for one month of that year is down 22% compared to the same month in the previous year.

(Known Data)

Therefore, the number of animals in Area B is down 55% for that month.

(Totally Fallacious Argument not supported by Logic or Mathematics)

You can’t directly compare percentages of different sets.

Even if those sets are related, they are still discreet sets.

The set Animals in Area B is a subset of the set Animals in Area A.

The set Animals that visited Waterhole C is a subset of both Animals in Area A and Animals in Area B.

However, it is impossible to make any meaningful statement about the size of the set Animals in Area B from the data provided.

When this type of babble is presented as fact, the question begs to be asked – do you really think that is how mathematics works or are you being deliberately disingenuous in an attempt to push your agenda?

Something to remember:

“I’ve decided that this is true and therefore it is true”, isn’t actually a thing…