9. We’re All Gonna Die!!!!!!!October 12, 2010
Statistics apply to Groups not Individuals
or Why Death Rates are Over-Rated!!!
We’re All Gonna die!!! Well, um, this statement is true. The morbidity rate for humans is still 100%. Hopefully, you will be happy, healthy and 110 years old before such statistics begin to worry you.
Newspapers often run statistics stating that your chance of being killed by a shark is 1 in 271,257 as shown. It’s NOT.
Secondly, these statistics apply to groups not to the individual. In every 271,257 Australians 1 MIGHT be eaten by a shark. In 251, 257 surfers the numbers eaten by a shark would be MUCH greater.
Finally, these numbers still seem high. What? 77 people are killed by sharks in Australia annually. NO. These are statistics over a lifetime. 80 years, say. Less than 1 Aussie a year is killed by sharks on average but just because one surfer has died you cannot say ‘Great! The sharks have reached their annual quota I can go back in the water.’
Statistics can NEVER tell you WHAT might happen to you!
It’s a GROUP THING. All you can learn from these statistics are the exit-the-earth probabilities for Australians that, mostly, we don’t get to choose.