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Lies, damned lies, and statistics

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"Lies, damned lies, and statistics" is an expression attributed to Benjamin Disraeli,Wikipedia's W.svg a Victorian-era prime minister of the United Kingdom. It was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain.

It is used in two ways:

  • An allusion to the fact that anyone can, using spin, easily twist statistics so that they appear to support some position.
  • An allusion to the fact that such people may also impugn valid statistics that falsify their position.

The book Damned Lies and Statistics is also a handy guide to statistical trickery by Joel Best.