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The Only Thing More Annoying Than People…

…Is their total lack of ability to understand basic probability and/or statistics and/or data of any sort. Dan Drezner (in for Sullivan) has a nice post with a few links about BSE. That’s “Mad Cow” for all you folks who aren’t familiar with it. According to the CDC the chances of getting “MadCow” from the ingestion of British beef are roughly one in ten billion. Yes, that’s billion. With a “b.”

Meanwhile, Juan Non-Volokh is taking apart the Endangered Species Act. Nice to see somebody take that on, but he does cite the DDT myth. The theoretical possibility, mostly disproven, that it may cause thinning of bird eggs is no reason to disallow DDT’s use in the Third World where very real people are dying of very real malaria.

UPDATE: Minor spelling/grammatical things fixed, the *British* beef statement stays because I believe the TCS column speaks specifically about British beef in reference to it being banned from import to the US.

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