There is an old saying, often attributed to Mark Twain but apparently of unknown origin, that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. It is a lie that COVID-19 assuredly originated at some wet market in Wuhan, China. The old saying about “lies, damned lies and statistics” is always relevant, especially at a time like this. The problem with the latter, as I have always seen it, is that it seeks to find norms in populations within which there can be considerable diversity. Nature, 390: 591-4, 1997 [10] Lee DH, Severin K, and Ghadri MR. Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics Lies, Damned Lies, And Statistics A Trend Towards Facts and Away From Statistics When Evaluating Future Earning Capacity Claims While the origin of this fabled quote is in doubt, we know Mark Twain was right about one thing: people manipulate statistics. With governments, politicians and various ‘experts’ throwing around all sorts of statistics and numbers – often that conflict with one another – we need to keep a close eye on things, and keep asking questions. Guest Post by Dr. Michael Yeadon. Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics – the Deadly Danger of False Positives. Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: The Tyranny of Typicality. J Theor Biol, 187: 473-482, 1997 [9] Lee DH, Severin K, Yokobayashi Y, and Ghadiri MR, Emergence of symbiosis in peptide self-replication through a hypercyclic network. In this respect, the lies, and even more so the damned lies, of history are the true and proper materials of historical research, whose statistical‐like patterns the historian needs to unravel. Forty Ways To Think About Architecture: Architectural history and theory today By Dr. Mike Yeadon. (More examples of questionable visualizations can be seen here and here.). Lies, “Yellow Journalism” and the Death of the Mainstream Media; I never expected to be writing something like this. As part of the quest for truth, the three types of lies must be identified: lies, damned lies and statistics. “The phrase was popularized in the United States by Mark Twain (among others), who attributed it to the British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Illustration by Peter Newell from COSMOPOLITAN, August 1898: Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics." (Martin Leissl/Bloomberg) As Mark Twain famously popularized in the public consciousness, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, … However, the phrase is not found in any of Disraeli's works and the earliest known appearances were years after his death. Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics – The Deadly Danger of False Positives. [8] Ruse M, The origin of life, philosophical perspectives.