We're all going to die, but is it statistically significant?


“ONE in ten Australians believes the world will end this year in line with ancient Mayan prophecies,” began a story by journalist Barney Zwartz in the Age last week. It seems like a startling finding. But it’s hard to believe that 10 per cent of Australians are familiar with ancient Mayan prophecies, let alone go along with their prediction that the world will end in the next few months. As research conducted in 2011 by Ewing and Associates found, when a statistic looks ridiculous, 83.2 per cent of the time it is…


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