Statisticians: When We Teach, We Don’t Practice What We Preach

Here’s an example of inconsistent behavior. A statistician challenges a speeding ticket in court by arguing that the radar evidence was inconclusive and questioning whether the instrument was properly calibrated. Later in the day, the statistician watches a baseball game and is impressed with pitches clocked at 99 or 100 miles per hour. On the one hand, the statistician believes the TV network’s radar gun can accurately peg, to the nearest mile per hour (mph), the speed of a small ball that is only visible for about 1 second. On the other, the statistician claims a police officer can’t prove an SUV was traveling 20 mph over the speed limit on an open stretch of road.

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