But, you can prove almost anything with math. When I say that I am leery of such conclusions without knowing the math that produced them, no one seems to say, 'Oh, Yeah, you're right. It might be heavily slanted in the favor of the desired conclusion.'

For instance, one thing most people use to criticize evolution is that no one really knows the method whereby life originated in the first place. That said, those same people also maintain that there is math proving that the method of life originating is impossible. Neither really impacts on evolutionary theory, but no one seems to notice that they hold contradictory opinions. It's like being at a restaurant and saying, "I don't know what the recipe for this dish is, but I can prove that they didn't use enough salt."

I also wonder, on the cost of punishment, how much of the $-value is pay for civil servants that would have been paid anyway? If they figure the cost of an appeal to the Death Penalty, did they also figure that the Lifer has as many appeals? Did they include the medical costs of older prisoners? Did they add in the electricity (Florida) or the bullets (Utah)? I don't know. Know one can point me to a site with a breakdown.

Anyway, when I get to critical of math problems that support one or another side of an argument, people tell me I'm just afraid to face the truth, or I don't understand math.

Wrong on both counts.

I understand math certainly well enough to know that if you're fast, or tricky, you can do ANYTHING you want. What follows are some examples that are obvious. I mean, you can see where they cross a boundary that good mathematicians wouldn't. Thing is, if they do the same thing and you don't catch it, would a group of fervent supporters still use the math in their arguments?

Draw a stick horse on the board.

Label the legs before we count them. Now, in back of the horse, there's two hind legs. At the other end, we have two fore legs in front.

Now, to add it up:

In back we have a hind leg and a hind leg, that's two legs in back. Up front there are two forelegs. So, two times fore is eight, so we have eight in front.

Now, 8 legs + 2 legs is 10 legs. Now, ten is an even number, but it's certainly an odd number of legs for a horse. And the only number that is both even and odd is infinity. So a horse has an infinite number of legs.

Want proof? Okay. Lets set up three groups:The untested set, which includes all horses that haven't been tested, and right now that's all horses; the tested set, which includes all horses that have been found to be the same color; and the undertest set, which is where we move horses for testing.

And we have a tally sheet to show results, with the question at the top: and three colums, for the number of the horse, whether it's been tested, and whether it tested positive with respect to our question.

Horse No. | Placed in UT and tested? | All the same? |
---|---|---|

#1 | _______ | ______ |

#2 | _______ | ______ |

#3 | _______ | ______ |

#4 | _______ | ______ |

Now, we start with one horse. Move one horse from the untested set to the undertest set.

Horse No. | Placed in UT and tested? | All the same? |
---|---|---|

#1 | In Progress | ______ |

FOr our first test, we can state, with some certainty, that all the horses in the UT set are the same color. Does everyone buy that? Yes, it might be an apaloosa, but for the purpose of the test, we have to assume that any horse, however brindled or socked, is one overall color. Let's say it's a black horse. Are all the horses in the UTSet the same (black) color? Yes? Okay, now we can continue.

Since our first horse has been tested, we move it to the Tested set.

Horse No. | Placed in UT and tested? | All the same? |
---|---|---|

#1 (Black) | Tested | same |

#2 | _______ | ______ |

#3 | _______ | ______ |

#4 | _______ | ______ |

We move another horse into the UTSet. We'll say it's a roan. Now, are all the horses in the UTSet the same color? Yes, they are. All one of them. Now, the TESTED horse is not in the UTSet, we moved it after testing. After all, why would we want to test it again? We've proven that IT is all the same color. Now, just the roan in the UTSet. Is it all the same color? Yes. Okay, all the (roan) horses in the UTSet are the same color.

Horse No. | Placed in UT and tested? | All the same? |
---|---|---|

#1(Black) | Tested | Same |

#2(Roan) | Tested | Same |

#3 | _______ | ______ |

#4 | _______ | ______ |

We move this horse to the Tested set. We have two horses that have been proven to be the same color. Now we get a third horse....

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