There’s a great article about numbers and statistics written by Christie Keith.  How often have you seen the following statistic?

The offspring of a single unspayed cat will, within five years, add up to 420,000 cats.

Well, it turns out to be wrong.  According to Carl Bialik, the Wall Street Journal’s “Numbers Guy” who has degree in mathematics and physics from Yale University, the real number is somewhere between 98 and 5000.

The article also discusses  a major study that has often been cited about the number of birds killed by free-roaming rural cats.  It seems that number isn’t correct either according to one of the studies authors.

“The media has had a field day with this since we started. Those figures were from our proposal. They aren’t actual data; that was just our projection to show how bad it might be.”

Read the article, please.

Of cats and birds and numbers
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