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03-12-2013, 07:17 PM
Smith - Alfie
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Of Burke's quotes, only the third is useful/spot on. (The second one is pretty damned ridiculous, as no amount of eyeballing could guarantee a Cup, either).

Statistics are useless without some degree of interpretation. No matter what 'data' you have, there's always been some level of subjective thought applied into the hypotheses, the methodologies, the limitations, and the conclusions/interpretations of the data.

Some fields are more developed than others, and consequently have come to be defined by apparently universal laws and relationships. Other fields (like political science or hockey) have been far less developed, and due to a combination of ethical concerns (read: limiting experimental methods), multiplicity of factors, and relatively small number of case studies will likely take a long time to arrive to the same 'universal' conclusions.

Dismissing statistics off hand is just as bad as dismissing eye judgments off hand. Both are invaluable in forming an accurate assessment.

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