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Do teens really drink 25% of the booze

As reported by MSNBC, something called the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse put out a study last week noting with alarm that a quarter of all the alcohol sold in America is consumed by teen-agers. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the study was "wrong" because it "had not applied the standard statistical techniques in deriving that number."

A friend of mine saw this somewhere, and emailed me a brief article about it. This was my response...

I saw this today too (different source, MSNBC I think). The thing that absolutely killed me about this was... Okay they publish their findings - 25% of the booze is consumed by kids. But then it's pointed out to them that there was a fairly obvious mathematical flaw in their numbers. I mean a big huge flaw, a monkey with a calculator could have spotted it. Turns out the real number is 11%. But do they retract it? No. They STAND BY their results! Why, because if you include "other factors", like maybe the kids were being less than honest in the survey, then you should get the same 25% number. BASED ON WHAT! Certainly no statistical evidence. Not even a half-assed hoked-up Enron-like extrapolation! They just reached back and grabbed the first number they found up their ass and said "Here it is! This is the truth!" And we say "But, but, you have nothing to support that!", And they say "Why sure we do!" And we say "What, what could this possibly be based on?" And they say "Because we said so, that's why!" So we say "But the numbers really say..." Then they cover their ears and say "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA......"

Just KILLS me.

Curtis "I need a drink now" Wiggins

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