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A physician, an attorney, and a statistician are hunting.  A big buck appears.  The physician and the attorney raise their rifles and fire.  The physician's bullet passes 3 meters to the left of the buck, the attorney's 3 meters to the right.  The statistician jumps up, hooting and a hollering, "we got him, we got him."    Well OK, the mean is zero, but the standard error of the mean is 3.

Subject: Statistik

    Zwei Mathematiker sitzen im Flugzeug in die USA, um eine Konferenz zu besuchen.  Meint der erste:  "Haben Sie keine Angst, ein Flugzeug zu benutzen.  Die Statistik besagt doch, dass die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass sich eine Bombe an Bord befindet, heutzutage recht hoch ist."

    Antwort:  "Sie haben Recht, aber die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass zwei Bomben an Bord sind, ist dafuer sehr gering. Und eine Bombe habe ich mit..."


    Translation and elaboration by Wuensch:  Two statisticians meet in an airplane on the way to a convention.  The one notes that she has been modeling terrorist activities and her model predicts that there is an unusually high probability of a bomb being on a plane today.  The second statistician replies that she too has been modeling such terrorist activities, but not to worry -- you see, the probability of there being TWO bombs aboard is very small, so she brought along one in her briefcase.

"Statistics Means Never Having to Say You're Certain."

Date: Thu, 12 Mar 1998 16:44:09 -0000
From: Ronan Conroy <>
To: "Edstat-l" <>

    Joke I heard from a Danish statistician, Michael Davidsen, which brings to four the number of stats jokes I know. A dramatic increase of more than 30% in the last week alone!

     The statisticians and the epidemiologists are going to the sea for the day on the train. The epidemiologists buy a ticket each, while the statisticians buy one between them. When the ticket inspector comes around, the statisticians get into a toilet and pass out the ticket under the door. Duly fooled, the inspector goes away.

    On the way home, the epidemiologists buy one ticket between them, just like they saw the statisticians doing, while the statisticians simply buy no tickets at all. So when the inspector comes around, the epidemiologists get into the toilet. Then one of the statisticians knocks on the door and the epidemiologists duly pass out the ticket. The statisticians then take the epidemiologists' ticket and retire to another toilet to await the ticket collector.

    MORAL: Never imagine you have learned a trick because you saw a statistician doing it once.

From:         Ronan Conroy <rconroy@RCSI.IE>
Subject:      Re: Lord Kelvin Quote on Measurement 

Lord Kelvin:  ''The degree to which you can express something in numbers is the degree to which you really understand it.''

Popper:  (he of the philosophy of science fame) "How much do you love me?"

His wife (who, like Lot's wife, has no name in this story):   "I love you eleven".

From:         PaigeM2 <paigem2@AOL.COM> 

    Thomas Bayes was actually female. It seems that his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bayes had 11 girls before Thomas was born. When Mrs. Bayes was pregnant with her 12th baby, she went to the local seer, who confidently informed her that this next baby would be a boy. Mr. and Mrs. Bayes were overjoyed, and so when the baby actually arrived, the obvious physical evidence that the baby was a girl was not strong enough to shake their prior belief that they were going to have a boy, and so... they raised their new daughter to be the son they always wanted,

Thomas. :-)

From: Stephen Baker <sbaker@UMASSMED.UMMED.EDU> 

My favorite stats joke was one published on here the last time we had this discussion, I think by Larry Ries: 

How many statisticians does it take to screw in a light bulb? You must use NONPARAMETRIC analysis here because everyone knows statisticians are NOT NORMAL.


    The chair of the stats dept was walking down a beach and found a magic lamp, rubbing the lamp a genie appeared offering him the choice between untold wealth and unequaled wisdom.  Later, a new junior faculty member approached him and wanted to know what he has learned with his new wisdom. The chairman replied "I should have taken the money!"

From:         "Simon, Stephen" <sis1@NIOBBS1.EM.CDC.GOV>

Statistician: someone who doesn't have enough personality to succeed in Accounting. 

I should add a disclaimer that I don't believe this to be true; I married a Statistician.  But it's funny anyway.

Here's another one (with apologies to any sensitive actuaries out there):

Actuary: someone who didn't think Statistics was already boring enough and decided to combine it with Insurance.

 Steve Simon,

spider in web
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Dr. Karl L. Wuensch

This page most recently revised on 8-Sept-2021.