One of the most brazen uses of statistics which do not fit the definition was in a much-praised book that attempted to show that black students admitted to colleges under affirmative action do just fine. The book was titled "The Shape of the River," written by William Bowen and Derek Bok, former presidents of Princeton and Harvard, respectively.
Although this book is crammed full of statistics, not one of those statistics is about black students admitted under affirmative action. Black students admitted under the same standards as white students are lumped together with black students admitted under lower standards. Yet, from this the authors conclude that affirmative action is a good thing -- to the applause of those who apparently wanted to see that conclusion more than they wanted to see meaningful statistics.
"The proportion of the world's population in absolute poverty is now lower than it has ever been," the study, written by a group of respected economists for the London-based Center for Economic Policy Research, says.I'm sure liberals everywhere are rejoicing.